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U.S. House of Representatives

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Us 34, Michigan 14, U.s. 13, United States 10, Mexico 9, Virginia 9, Washington 8, Irs 7, Rebecca Tallent 7, Fisa 7, Benghazi 7, Maryland 6, California 6, Pennsylvania 6, Florida 6, Obamacare 5, Arizona 5, Grassley 5, Justin Amash 5, Oklahoma 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    August 20, 2013
    5:00 - 9:01pm EDT  

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unskilled people, so they will be competing against these illegal aliens. host: let's take that point. guest: i would love to talk about the border point that he made, actually. guest: i would love to talk about the border point that he made, actually. you are absolutely right, the statistics you quoted were accurate. 40% of the people that are here illegally have overstayed their visas. investing a lot of money at the border is not going to get it done. we have to address the issue of interior enforcement as well, a point that we also make in our report, this goes back to the senate bill, they are investing a lot of money, $38 billion or something that they will be spending on the border. what does that do in terms of addressing the population of people who are overstaying? the house has gone, maybe in my
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opinion, too far with interior enforcement. it has been considered a step too far on interior enforcement. but i think that will probably be negotiated more to the center if they reach a conference report but there needs to be some way to address the overstay. you can do that within eight points verification system, where we do not have that system now, you could do it with entry exit systems, tracking the people that exit. we do not do that right now and do not know if people are overstaying their visas. there are a lot of ways to enhance that technology today. guest: the caller's right, it is not being handled the way it should be right now. what we have right now in this country is the fact that amnesty. the current situation is that the obama administration is frankly doing more deportations now than have ever been done before. we can quibble about how you
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come to those numbers, but they are deporting people, it is not fair to say that people are not being deported, they are. however, there are still many people here in an undocumented status and frankly, most of them are not going anywhere. if you wipe the current system, basically you're saying that we should not be addressing reforming our laws, because you are allowing these people to be here and working within our country. the unemployment rate, this is definitely a situation where we address this the last time in 2006 and 2007.
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the employment rate is much higher now. in a way you are comparing apples to oranges, no pun intended, because a lot of these jobs are agriculture jobs and whether we want to admit it or not, this will probably get me some angry callers, there are jobs that american workers will not do. --vernor barbara had a great governor barber had a great example. a chicken processing plant in mississippi a couple of miles from the state penitentiary, they have a program that allows prisoners to leave and make $6 per hour processing chickens. they said they have never had a prisoner last more than two days cleaning chickens. that they would rather be in their cells in prison than work in the chicken processing plant because it is such hard, dirty, nasty work. we are seeing the same thing in arizona.
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picking lettuce, there are no american workers lining up to do those jobs. host: a couple more tweets -- guest: if there were? oh, well, a dirtly littlesecret about immigration, if you wanted to come to the united states and clean a hotel room or work in a service sector that is not agriculture, there is no way for you to come to this country to work. there is especially no way for you to stay. we do not have a visa category that addresses these people. while we do have an agriculture program, it is small and difficult to use and many employers do not use it. in california they say that 70% of agriculture workers are here illegally and only 4% of the total population are using the while we haveram.
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an ag program, the program is not functioning right now and we do not have one to address these other low- skilled categories, so there is no way for them to come legally under the current system. host: gramm, michigan, mary, go ahead. caller: good morning, i just wanted to say several things. one, people do not understand that the obama care is directly related to what is going to happen if immigration passes. what is going to happen is americans are going to be forced to be covered by obama care, whereas the bill as it stands now, illegals will not be covered by this, so therefore, who do you think the employer is going to employ? not the american citizen. it will be the person they do not have to give health care to.
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host: rebecca? guest: i am not a health-care expert, there are interesting conceits to the health care bill that i will fully admit i do not understand. the concern has been raised that especially -- especially, well we are talking about people working off the books, which is a whole nother issue. if you are hiring someone knowing they are undocumented, you are blatantly flaunting the law and is an issue that needs to be addressed. a lot of that comes to a point of verification systems. we need to be able to real-time know whether someone is eligible to work. so, in the country today if i come and apply for a job, i bring a copy of my driver's license and social security card, i fill out my paperwork, we mail it to the socialsecurith
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today is kind of crazy if you think about it. if i go and purchase something that i need an identification for, like sudafed or alcohol, i can walk into a store and a swipe at and have all of my information and can tell if i am eligible to buy that product. why can that same technology not be transferred into the workplace? i think that that, resoundingly people agree that if we could address that problem, that that would go a long way to countering the ability for people to willfully hire undocumented. host: we have an undocumented residents from evanston. go ahead, hector. caller: thank you for taking my call. i came here with a visa and i overstated. my family is here. my kids are here.
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i have been struggling to put them through university. one of my sons has gone back to mexico. yes, i have worked in the industry and i have brought tourists here at one time. i was somehow bringing money into the states, and i am trying to do something here and now, we do not have access to credit and i want to do somehow hire people and help economies. i would like to ask representatives to support the immigration bill that allows us to integrate into not only the economy, because we are already here and already part of the united states, we want to come out and somehow come to a country in whatever way possible. and help economies.
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host: how long have you been here? caller: 12 years already. host: why did you not go back? why did you overstay? caller: i found here in the states a better way to raise my family. we came here -- my parents came here in 1956. i have very strong ties with family in california. to me, my countries, mexico and the united states, i would like to be able to travel along the
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country and i cannot leave home, i am afraid. host: ok, rebecca tallent? guest: this story is reminiscent of what we are talking about. it sounds like he came here and had family here, speculation, and overstayed, but he is now working here and wants to start his own business and wants to be able to hire people and, like he said, contributes to the economy. to me, that frankly is the most persuasive argument in all of this, the economic contribution. host: what will he have to do to come out of the shadows? been here for 12 years, how much
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in back taxes, all of that, would he have to pay? guest: a good question. there are a couple of pieces here. obviously we do not know what the house is going to do at this point, but under the senate bill do come forward and pay an initial fine of $2,000 and then he will be on probationary status for 10 years. under the current senate bill, because it is always a complicated legislative issue, but there is not a requirement right now to pay back taxes, because there is a technical problem. that will be likely address coming out of the conference committee, the back taxes requirement. we put it in the 2007 bill and we became subject to what is i will notlue slip. bore the cspan listeners as to
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what that is. it is a technical problem. everyone anticipates back taxes being part of the deal. some of these folks, depending on whom hector has been working for, may have already been having their taxes withheld. frankly, i would not say the majority, but a large portion of the undocumented population are here working on someone else's number or a tax id #. they are going through the i-9 the process and what employers are withholding everything we have out of our pay stubs. they would need to approve and submit paperwork that shows that those taxes were being paid. it could obviously be thousands host:housands of dollars. suzie tweets in this --
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guest: we do, it is for agriculture seasonal workers. it is incredibly bureaucratic and one of the biggest problems right now is that people that can use the program, one of the biggest problems they see is that all of their petitions are being processed by the department of labor and not agriculture and they are finding that the department of labor process is so arduous that they are missing their picking seasons waiting for visas to be approved. it is a complicated system that requires a strict housing requirement with things like each bathroom in each house provided has to have a window. it is a very, very strict program that comes to the point where it is basically unusable. there are agricultural employers that tried very diligently to use it, but it is not adaptable enough or responsive enough to the growing season and it has been proven difficult to use. host: chester county, maryland, go ahead. caller: yes, hi, i just had one
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thing to say. i do not understand why people feel that, you know, they intentionally want to come here illegally and go through all this trouble of not being able to have insurance, if it was so easy to do with the right way? that is what i am not understanding, people walked thousands and thousands of miles over the border. the risk dying to come here and pay lots of money. if they could pay money and get a visa in terms of legal aid, do you not think that they would do that? host: good point. we will leave it there. guest: there are many situations where there is no category for these folks. ted kessler, for example, has a -- takefamily here.
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hcetor for example. i am not sure whether is no green card category for him. there are categories you can get a green card through.uncapped visa categories. there are categories that include siblings and adult children, they are subject to a if he wantscountry. to come back in. that is the other catch 22 we have on this. depending on the extent of your agreements, if you are here you legally you do not want to be subject to the bar, they have tightened the border so much at this point, people are rooting
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in. a lot of people believe that if we put folks into some kind of legal status, that they would freely travel back and forth. in 1986, i do not think anyone is debating that. the rest to the advantage of the legal status and chose to return to their home country. we would probably see similar patterns with people coming here specifically for work and maybe they do not intend to stay for forever. host: what about this story that was on the fox news website, senator jeff sessions saying that asylum requests are being abused by people coming from mexico, trying to come into the united states and they are
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saying a few keywords having to do with the drug situation and is acartels.they say there danger, and then, they are able to seek asylum in this country. guest: this comes back to when we had this on the books, people concerned that the asylum process is being abused. frankly, that is fair to say, but the situation in mexico right now is terrible and i do not think anyone within the united states can completely comprehend what it is like to live and in some of these towns. in mexico. byy are being fully run these gun cartels.
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there are horrifying stories that will not recount at this early hour on a weekday, but i would say that there are legitimate concerns and requests coming out of mexico based on the horrifying situation is that we heard. for family members put at risk, there are cartels taking over whole towns, putting everyone at risk. whether it is directly or over directly from cartel violence. host: according to this story it says that these requests for --ylum, he calls them of uses, abuses, should put the brakes on the immigration bill. let's go to bob in ohio.why is that, bob? caller: thank you for taking my reason, first history, i spent some of my 12
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years in the marine corps down in tortuga, ariz., in 1986. i work for the state department, like i said. the information command system was very important and in the first few months we passed an amnesty bill and try to put up trackrigibles to the aliens coming across the corridor. it was part of my job in public affairs to be aware of these kinds of things and communicate with the public. the reality of the matter is that there are over 120
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legal designations with indian chiefs, the agricultural workers and that type of stuff, that definition in that law with regards undocumented workers, it is important that you do the right thing and move through the proper process. then there is something that does not follow the process. response we will get a from rebecca tallent. guest: i have spent quite a bit of time at fort worth. it is nice to hear from a fellow arizonan. the border security situation today is drastically different than it was in the late 1980's, you could say for better or for worse. at that point you really did have a free flow of people
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across the border.some may say that was better. even though you had people freely falling, they did not experience the violence they are experiencing today. almost everyone coming across the border was coming with someone armed and a lot of it was a result of the violence was talking about earlier. some of them were protecting themselves and it has increased violence.not just on the mexico side.ut the arizona you heard this with a man there. he was tragically killed inside the property those few years ago. you are seeing as a result of the increased security violence ourell.whart ou -- what caller was talking about,
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back in the 1980's what you would see is maybe a couple of people on the south side of the theer.they would rush border. the border control could not come across everyone.they were playing the odds. that is how it was in the late 1980's, late 1990's. this situation is slightly different. they are using a lot of the military technology that is being used in south korea to protect the demilitarized zone, they are using that same kind of
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technology on the arizona border as well. i am trying to remember the second part of the caller's point. i should have made a note. i think it was related to the number of categories, the law says there is no category for illegal alien, making the point host: that you are breaking the law. guest: thank you, exactly. reiterating the point i made earlier, yes, you are exactly right, there are a lot of these categories right now but i go back to the idea that there is not just want to address this specific population, the majority of what we are addressing here, the hotel workers and service industry workers, there is no category to address them functionally and the agriculture program is functionally broken. that has resulted in the situation a population that we have here today, in my opinion. host: we are talking to rebecca tallent, the immigration policy
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director for the immigration task force bipartisan center, rebecca tallent. they are out with a new consensus study asking both sides to come together on a consensus for reform. you can see how the phone lines are divided up. here is a tweet for rebecca tallent -- host: and then this one -- guest: actually, i will take the second one first, the cbo has done a study and we are going to be coming out with numbers in the last month or so that will look at the economic impact of immigration reform, so keep your eye out for that. but the budget office look at the senate bill and found that before the border surge it would
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still be a net process and prior to the border surge amendment there would be an increase of $191 billion to offset the deficit. sorry if that was a confusing way to say that. net positive to the country, economically.meaning that with the additional cost on the border, they were still looking at astronomical numbers with money being flooded into the offsetting of the deficit. also, though, you have to account for the fact that there is economic growth that will result from individuals, like hector, currently working off the books and not fully achieving their economic potential, it is also supporting the social infrastructure and allowing someone like that to fully expand their economic
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potential. immigrants overwhelmingly tend to be entrepreneurs and tend to start new jobs with new companies, bringing in new jobs. historically it has not just been latino immigrants, it was the same throughout history.with every wave of immigration we hvave seen. one of the things we have looked at is the impact on the housing market. we would like to see the costs for housing markets increased and bringing 11 million people into the legality and apply for mortgages would help us to do that, allowing for people to be here and fully invested in the economy. i think that contrary may be to what some people would instinctively think about a bill like this, part of it is the hangover from the obama care catu -- actually predict there will be a net
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benefit both economically and fiscally, those are not the same things for the country. i think that that is an important point to be making. it was a game changer in the debate when that cbo score came out. i think there were a lot of people we anticipated it might be net neutral, but to have it be so positive was an important point. host: naomi, go-ahead. caller: i understand that there are signs that the southern border, anyway, that say they are in english, spanish, and chinese? why would chinese becoming after be coming up through mexico? guest: that turned out to be an internet rumor that turned out to be not correct. when congressman hayworth was running in the 2010 senate elections, that was something that the congressman contended
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with, the fact that we had something like 30,000 chinese coming up through the border every year, it turned out not to be true. it was one of those things that caught on on the internet and spread like wildfire, but i have been there and never seen one that has chinese on it for evidence that someone from china has been crossing the border. host: we will go to john, who opposes immigration reform, chicago, hello. caller: it is not that i oppose the forum, but i do oppose the form suggested. it makes it so hard for them to get a job, it is virtually verify.ble.e- any employer who knowingly employ this any legal is subject to a heavy fine.
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this baloney about being at the line forming in the country of origin, it does not form. guest: i think a lot of people in the country agree with your feeling and i guess my concern on that is the -- let's say this is an accurate number. conservatively, let's say that 6 million of those individuals are currently employed in the economy, it would mean that the other 5 million, children, which is likely conservative, in these tough economic times we are pulling these people out and sending them back wherever they would come from will continue to cripple our economy and i do not think we can afford to take as
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individuals out of the work force right now.and i think my next question is probably going to be about the high unemployment rate, going back to this idea that the high unemployment rate, construction is a specific industry where this does not necessarily play out because a lot of american workers are out of work in construction and there is definitely going to be competition and there will be sectors where there are not americans lined up to do those jobs in those sectors.and where they are currently out of work in those fields. that is where they are within the agriculture and service industry. if you speak to your average restaurant owner, they are recognizing the fact that so many of their employees are immigrant workers, here is a great example, in phoenix right now they just raided a car wash.
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when i lived there down the street from me, taking away those immigrant workers shut it down. they arrested a lot of the managers for being implicit in hiring, but it became clear that physically they could not run it without an immigrant worker there. it means tough economic times, calling these people of the workforce will be detrimental to recovery. host: virginia, support the idea of the immigration reform?what are your thoughts? caller: i wanted to say one thing, in a mexican american citizen now and we love this country. americans love mexico.20,000 americans live there. they help the country, they pay taxes like the people here, we pay taxes by buying food,
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clothing, and whatever. that all of this social security, these factors will play, this is the time to fix this. they need this, this is a hispanics, lations, whatever you want to call them, south americans. we work together. we are afraid to get into a because it is not easy. host: talking about the
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political side effects, i guess that is inevitable. we talked about this in the beginning as well. the question of whether or not republicans can appear anti- immigrant and how that will play out in national politics. guest: this is where you see a real divide between people running between the national level and statewide level, the majority of them are in very safe districts that have been carefully put together to basically make them safe districts and you have something like between 70 and 80 house republicans who currently have less than 10% latino voters in the district. what they are telling us is that they do not need to be sold on the politics of this because it does not apply in their home districts, they need to be sold
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on the project will policy.-- practical policy of this. but then you are looking at senators and presidential candidates nationally and statewide that go up. governor rendell was saying that the latino voting population in pennsylvania is 8%. pennsylvania is usually decided by a smaller margin than that and a republican candidate running against the democrats may not be ready by a margin. unless there is a crazy, overwhelming wave towards the the questionarty. is, we are in a midterm election right now. house republicans are really focused on their elections, they are focused on just their midterm elections.
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you are not looking at a national presidential election. is this the time but you need house republicans to put their individual district policies aside and try to look at international politics and good policy? or is it potentially 2015, when the republicans try to take back the white house, or the senate if it is not this cycle, will it be easier to look at at that point? host: if senator marco rubio was looking at this, would it be more on the forefront of news and speculation? would there be more pressure on republicans? guest: what is interesting about him is that he is talking about it and this argument that if congress does not act, the
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president will unilaterally act on his own and basically expand the deferred action program that is being applied to the children of undocumented immigrants. thorugh -- through no fault of here byn, brought their paretnt. -- parents. right now there is a program that applies to them that allows them to stay in school, but it does not give them a green card, it just allows them to not be deported to stay and work. the rumbling of this, the white house has said it is not on the box, the argument that he is making in terms of expanding the program to everyone who is here illegally.not just the childrend undocumentede population.
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that this all kind of goes back to obamacare, it really does in this case, during the immigration debate is went they decided not to force the employer mandate. well, that really made republicans uncomfortable. it was not as though they unilaterally made a decision and this was an example of the kind of thing that they could do, waiving these requirements at the border, putting it on the table that makes republicans isy uncomfortable.rubio using this as part of his argument. it plays very well to his base, that if they do not act it will be a presidential office willing to make these choices. host: this twitter -- host: talk about the role of market zucker word of the amazon
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is playing in this. guest: he is dropping several millions of dollars on the cause reform., you would be happy to know. he and several other entrepreneurs in california have put together an organization called former u.s.. it is not specifically aimed at immigration, but it is the 501c4, which means it gives money, not a non-profit, inherently political, it gives money based on whether or not they support their agenda items. one item is immigration. they gave a chunk of money to the controls and senator gramm. senator gramm can use that money any way that he wants. on could use it to run as benghazi. he could use it for
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health care reform and the idea is that you receive the money because he supports a different portion of the agenda with the people that they donated to using it to run ads on the pipeline and suddenly they spoke werevironmentalists.they saying that facebook was giving money in support of the pipeline. they are still feeling their way into this whole discussion, but immigration is one of the things that marked the herbert wrote about in "the new york times" a few months ago and his experience mentoring students, it really got to him, and those high skilled workers are important to the industry as somehe has been throwing money at this. host: go ahead, michael.
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caller: i have been keeping watching the process. all i see are people talking and they need jobs for this country, the people in the white house and the senate need to understand this. even the white house was built by immigrants. if i am not mistaken, you know? guest: i think at the beginning of your comments he said you only heard people talking about it?you haven't seen action. are you frustrated with the pace? caller: we agreed, they are the ones who are not meeting in this country, they know nothing about them.
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host: michael, what do you say to people who say you broke the law by coming here? caller: [indiscernible]well, you broke the law. i came. i could go back. right? what they doe]do and go back. any type of visa. nothing at all. high quality jobs.
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host: ok, michael, i will have to leave it there, we are running out of time with rebecca tallent. guest: he made two points, one was the tradition of immigration in this country, which is important to focus on. i fear that people will there eyes and think that this is maybe an overly sympathetic way to look at this, but it is important to understand that unless you were a native american, you or your ancestors came here as immigrants. there were no immigration laws pre-1920. before that if you made it here, you could stay. we were in a different position than we are today. the other point that he made, i think, is that he would like to feel that there is a process where people can come here, work, and go home, and right now because of the way we have secured our borders and made it tough for people to come and go across the border, which i support we should be monitoring across the border, because of this situation that we found
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ourselves in, unfortunately we are preventing people from leaving.if they want to end up work.ing for host: arlene, new york, go ahead with your thoughts. caller: i do support the immigration reform, but i would like the immigration reform to be open and broader. like, for example, i know of a situation of someone who came here as a kid legally in this country and for whatever reason they came back way law, whether it was true or not, because a person was not a citizen, they deported this person and also barred this person from entering back into the u.s. state. now, what is this person supposed to do? he has kids. he may never see them again.
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it is not as though he did something. even to this day, he is so challenging in this situation. guest: this goes to what we were about.talking about. this gets at the issue of what we were discussing. i do not know what the circumstances are, if he was deported on immigration grounds or if there was reference to a crime being committed that was still in the process of being adjudicated, but there are different degrees and different ways that people are banned from re-entering the country. there is a three-year and 10
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year bar, depending on the lobby committed, but there are also lifetime bans. if you are stopped on the side of the road, in arizona specifically, and they check your immigration status and ask if you are a citizen and you say i am a citizen, and by itself if you go to the court and being deported, that subject to to a lifetime ban, making a claim of false citizenship. frankly, i will be honest, the addressing of the lifting of a 3- or 10-year or lifetime bars are not part of this discussion. i think that people are satisfied with the idea that if you -- i say people, but there are things being addressed here and things not being addressed here. i am sure the caller would like to see these addresses, and to
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see reapplication of his lifetime ban. i think that right now we need to talk about this and these big issues and maybe we can start rolling down on these issues. host: rebecca tallent, bipartician policy center, immigration policy director at the bipartisan immigration center for policy. thank you very much for being with us. >> we offer complete gavel-to- gavel coverage all as a service of public industry. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] span, funded by your local cable or satellite provider, and now, you can watch us in hd. live town hall continues this evening with a look at some of the constituent meetings being held by members of congress. we will look at some of the questions being asked and ask
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you about questions with your representative. we will take your phone calls, and you can join us on facebook and twitter. again, i live town hall starts in about one hour, 15 minutes, 7 p.m. eastern. republican congressmanjustin amash recently held a town not in his district.he serves the third consecutive -- congressional district, which includes grand rapids. [applause] >> hello, everyone. he is my chief of staff. he does not just work for me. is primarily in our grand rapids office, and you can find that on my website, and we have a satellite office in battle creek, so if there is something you would like to schedule, you
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can contact our grand rapids office, and we will make sure we will have someone to meet with you as well. district director is jordan bush. he is not here today, but he is also a valuable resource. you can contact the grand rapids office to reach him. please feel free to do so. for a good cause, he is not here today. resource, and he can help you with any number of issues. town hallselephone from time to time, so if you would like to get on those phone calls, we've let our staff know. know before you leave, but please let us know because we do those from time to time. that gives you another way to stay in contact, and what we will do is have a phone call that goes out to your house maybe 6:00, 7:00 p.m., and you
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can get on the line and ask questions, and that is a convenient way for people who may have a more difficult time getting out, so if you cannot make it to a town hall and would like to be involved, that is one way to do it. i also post every vote i take on facebook. i am the only member of congress who does this. you will find an explanation of vote of every single mine on facebook. some me doing it, not staff person, so you can contact me directly that way. you do not have to have a facebook account to see the posts. you only need a facebook account if you want to comment. if you are worried about setting up a facebook account, do not worry. you can see everything i have posted and explanations.
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so i will talk to you very thatly about the nsa, and is something i have been very involved with, trying to rein in the out-of-control nature of what is going on right now with our surveillance programs, and that is something that i have spent, as you have probably seen from the news, a lot of time doing over the past couple of months. doing himsa has been as has been declassified now, is collecting the phone records of every single person in the united states, regardless of whether you are under suspicion of anything, so, in other words, the nsa has a database, and they actually collect every time you call someone. they collect the call that was made. they tell you which numbers were connected, the duration of the call, and they keep other sorts onwhat they call metadata
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your calls. they have been doing this for quite some time, but it was thently disclosed, and problem, of course, is they are doing it without any suspicion. it does not matter if you have a connection to a terrorist or not. they decided that they have the authority to gather up everyone's data, and, of course, this violates the fourth amendment. you cannot simply go around collecting data. the information of all americans in the united states. without any suspicion. so it is something i have been fighting against as a representative for the past couple of months, and a few weeks ago, we had an amendment on the house floor, a defense appropriation bill. congress stood up and said we do not approve of
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the nsa collecting phone records of every single person on the united states without any suspicion. 217 members said they were ok with it. i think the tide is turning and that things are shifting. it is about what the nsa and what the government is doing. of how the nsa might be sharing information with the dea and irs, and according to reports, incidentally collecting information, inadvertently collect your information, and then use that information to go , and people domestically this violates our rule of requiring specific warrants. wherennot have a system the intelligence agencies, whether it is nsa or any other
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agency, collects data without a andant, and then use that, says, here you go, and prosecute people, and then according to reports, they are covering their tracks, so defense attorneys do not even know where the data came from. shockingare a lot of allegations, revelations out in reports. one of the things i can tell you is we do not have very much oversight of these programs. fisa courtsecret that interprets things like the patriot act, and these opinions are not available to members of congress. so, for example, the patriot act is a law related to data and members of congress have a particular interpretation of it when we passed it.
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it was up for reauthorization. [applause] yes, they have a particular interpretation of what the patriot act does, and they have been horrified at what they found. the internet is actually being interpreted by that fisa court in a much more expansive way than what they expected, and we would not have known about that if not for the recent disclosures, because the court opinions that interpret the patriot act are secret, and members of congress, rank-and- file members of congress, do not get access to those. you will have access provided to the intelligence committees. you will have the white house with access, but members of congress do not have access. of course, i represent people, like everyone else represents people, and when i am asked to vote on something, i deserve to have the information about the
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law that everyone else has. not keep most of congress in the dark about what they are voting on, and yet, that is what is happening repeatedly, so i have teamed up with a representative on a bipartisan measure. we do not agree on many things, but we do agree on this. we agree that people's rights are being violated here. the constitution is being violated, so we have teamed up with celebrity act, and what the liberty act will do, and this is bipartisan has 50 cosponsors, about 50, it is getting more every day, and it is split almost evenly between republicans and democrats, and what the liberty act will do will never of the scope of the patriot act, so that the government can only collect information that actually pertains to a person who is the
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subject of an investigation under the patriot act, and it would also provide greater access to members of congress to so wefisa court opinions, can oversee what is going on. right now, we do not. we just do not have the access. now, there are people on the intelligence committee and the white house who will tell you that members of congress get briefings on this information, and they do receive briefings, but let me tell you how these briefings work. without revealing any of the classified details. on, say, a briefing the patriot act, and it is basically a one-sided affair, where they tell you what the patriot act is and how it is worded, x, y, and c, and then they say, any questions? they say they have the opportunity to raise questions about the secret program, phone
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records collection program, even if we have the opportunity, why do we ask about it? we do not know about it erie it it does not make sense to think you are going to as questions about secret programs. am i just going to guess at what the program is? it comes to 20 questions. do you have a secret program? do you have the secret program? so you would sit there forever, trying to figure out what secret programs they have, because they do not volunteer the information there is actually no real oversight. the fact that we ask questions is not all of that helpful, because you have to go back to the briefing, and go through almost all of the briefings. briefing after briefing after briefing, finding your question in each briefing so that you can get the answers you need. not ask it in do
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exactly the right way, you are not going to get the answer. and for the white house, which recently said members of congress received a classified document, it was declassified, and it outlined this phone records collection program, and there was their own white paper, that it actually indicates that we did not receive that. 2009ys that document in was shared with the intelligence committees, and both intelligence committees shared with their members, and it talks about the updated document that was released in 2011 and shared with the intelligence committees, and it says they shared it with the members. in 2011. was
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a large number of republicans in particular were elected in the 2010 elections and just started large classfor that of representatives, we never saw that document. and, in fact, the administration white paper hinted that we did not receive the document, so i had my staff actually asked the intelligence committee, and they admitted they did not share the document with us, so we did not receive the information we needed. a lot of my colleagues, particularly the ones who voted yes on the patriot act, or very upset about this, so there is a lot of work to do. this is not a partisan issue. there are people on both sides of the issue, republicans and democrats, but i know the american people are on one side of this issue. they do not want to be spied on, so with that, i went to open up for questions. yes.
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>> i do not expect you to answer this in a way that would optimize yourself. 's actiond snowden stimulate what is going on with the national security administration? did it really come out of that? >> we never would have gotten to the point where we had votes on the amash amendment if not for that. yes? question is about homeland security. they came out and said anyone living within 100 miles of the border and a show on the map where all of michigan is included and all of florida, i mean come it goes on and on. no more fourth amendment rights.
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>> i do not know the particular reference you are making. i have heard the 100 miles from the border issue brought up. is that what you are referring to? >> they can search your computers and cell phones at any time because they have a blanket warrant. what is really strange is western michigan is included in it. is it the border between indiana and -- for anyone who is saying that is outrageous or false is insane. >> it is all across. >> yeah. >> in this case, homeland security. >> the fourth amendment protects you regardless of where you live in the country. it doesn't matter whether you live near the border or far away from the border.
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but it is coming out of homeland security. >> if homeland security is saying that, they are wrong. >> we have got to hold them accountable. >> yes? >> i want to ask about the patriot act. amendments or new legislation, would he get rid of the president's ability to have it disappear? >> to have it disappeared? >> indefinitely? >> that would be under that national defense authorization act. ask you about a senator from california who wants to redefine what the first amendment says by saying who has free speech rights. >> i think that is wrong to define the first amendment in
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such a way that it only protects journalists. everyone has first amendment protection. everyone has the right to free speech whether you are a journalist are not. >> she wants to say who is a journalist and who is not a journalist. >> yeah. >> there is a long series of barrages against civil rights. not you. i trust you actually. i do not know why. [laughter] [applause] the white house is bought and paid for. the things they are doing now -- what am i supposed to do when homeland security barges into my house? >> i understand. the culture is changing. on the amash amendment, you have the white house, democratic leadership, republican leadership, the intelligence community, all sorts of high-
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level officials saying, do not vote for this amendment. it will be a disaster. still, the majority of democrats and nearly half of the republicans voted for the amendment. aims are changing. it will take a little bit of work. we will need new people in there. the people who have been there for a long time are not getting the message. >> [inaudible] >> that is true. >> hi. i'm representing a libertarian party. we are repairing to have our fest in november. we celebrate michigan residents who have done the most in the name of liberty. you are at the top of our list am especially of the amash amendment. the topic this year is the impact that the war on terror has had on our personal liberties.
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something that concerns me that goes even further is the impact that it has on our ability to get the truth about what our government is doing. given that we are now involved in addressing secret threats we secret actions, how do we be sure that when we are told there has been a victory that the threat even existed to begin with? how can you have a responsibility to oversee the executive branch? how can you know whether these threats are credible? as i said before, we need better congressional oversight. there are plenty of people in congress who i think are not that interested in bringing out the truth and doing what is right. are a lot of people in congress who are interested in doing what is right. i have a lot of allies that i trust on both sides of the
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aisle. if we have better congressional oversight, you have more people watching and willing to say something and stand up for what is right. that is a part of the process. the public also needs to have confidence in what we are doing and have the ability to see what is going on. anytime you have secret laws, the public needs to know what the laws are. you cannot have laws that are hidden from the american people in a free country. go ahead. [indiscernible] >> i do not think so. i did not vote for john boehner as speaker. i voted for a man from idaho. but he is the speaker of the house.
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i will tell you that a lot of people could do a much worse job than john boehner. [laughter] who? >> i do not want to name names. one thing about john boehner, whether you agree with him or not, he has been straightforward with us. straightforward with members of congress. we know where he stands on issues. told me that he will do something and then has done something else. he has stuck to his word. i might disagree with the direction he takes, but he sticks to his word. go ahead in the back. i arrived late. is the subject. homeland security? >> know.
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talk about whatever you want. >> with the situation in south with a government id, what is a government id? second, why haven't you supported obama's jobs bill? >> the first question is about whether -- >> voting rights. the civil rights of 1964, congress had to approve us to be able to vote again. >> i will take a look at that. the issue is one that came up recently. it is something i would like to take a look at. everyone has a right to vote and that should be protected. that is a critical element of our society.
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that is something i will take a close look at. the issue of the jobs bill, house republicans passed a ,umber of jobs bills legislation aimed to boost the economy. those have been taken up i bet senate -- have not been taken up by the senate or president. we want to help the economy by looking at all of the people and how to create a for your economy economyryone -- freee that everyone can prosper in. [indiscernible] >> i wouldn't support doing anything at the federal level.
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from my perspective, it is a state and local issue. >> you would support the state? >> unfortunately, i'm not a michigan state legislator. >> i mean another one from michigan. and i think you are a state level. would you support it? >> that is something i am leaving to the state and local officials and not comment on it as a federal official. yes? >> i'm concerned about obamacare. there was an article in the paper i read the other day. yesterday a surgeon informed me because of my age, this could -- i could qualify for this. lessnot qualify for invasive and more expensive medical treatment required to correct the serious health
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problems. anyone over the age of 60 take note -- affordable care beginning to show us its ugly head. independentent -- payment advisory board will be making a decision on us. irs, who wefrom the know is pretty questionable at this time. we expect our governments to try to keep medical costs lower on the backs of those who are most likely to need that same care. and ther congress president exempted themselves from this monstrosity. why is it that the president and congress doesn't have to follow the laws that they make that we have to live by? not just obamacare, but all of them? [applause]
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>> everyone should be following the same laws in this country. we should not have a friend laws for different people. -- should not have different laws for different people. congress is not exempted from obamacare. congress and our staff have to go on obamacare. we were booted off our healthcare -- we will be booted off our health care when the new year starts. >> and the president? >> i do not think the president has too. the problem is that we have the white house and their staff and federal employees who do not have to go on to obamacare. they do not have to do the exchanges. but congress members and their staff do have to go on to obamacare. excuse me? >> adjust the subsidies. address the subsidies.
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there is a premium payment that members of congress and their staff get, which is the same they have been getting all along currently as part of our benefits from our employer, which is the government. it is just like any other employer might give her man .ayments to their employees we are in an unusual situation. we are getting kicked off our employer's healthcare and getting put onto the exchanges. the question is whether you can get premium payments from your are kicked onto the exchanges. this would not happen to anyone else. no one would get kicked off other healthcare and onto the exchanges. ofre is no change in terms premium payments you are getting from your employer as a member of congress or your staff. nothing changes there. is.tays at it currently
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not eligible for tax credits and others that others might be eligible for. do you have to pay income tax on your wages? >> yes. [laughter] >> do you pay social security tax? >> yes. here -- hard-on working recipients prudently despairs of his two low-paying jobs with no benefits. this pertains to a lot of people. to lift his spirits, he watches a tape of congressional members going down the capitol steps thursday afternoon after a .hree-day work session
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they have achieved the american dream -- getting full pay, premium healthcare, office just ford travels part-time work at the capitol. surely one so blessed with think andtruggling workers supported health care for the middle class working poor. the skepticism encompasses him. many congressional members seeking reelection are promising good jobs and less government regulation and speak as examples for that prerequisite. a doolittle congress, it is all speculation. congress, it is all speculation. we are concerned about congress
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and suspicious of government today. just bonkers.is -- we cannotieve trust the government. i guess that is all i have got to say. >> i think that is all fair. i am skeptical of government as you are. if you have followed my work, you will find that i have more than a healthy dose of skepticism of government, including skepticism of many of my colleagues. [laughter] confidence in the work that you do. >> thank you. go ahead. is there any realistic chance that the irs will be
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fundamentally restructured or go to a flat tax? >> i do not think so in the short run. not because i would not want that, but because i think there is too much push back. members of congress tend to like .aving a complicated tax code the more complicated tax code is, the more big corporations and others have to come to them and beg for favors. the more favors they can hand out, the more campaign contributions they get. there is a sense in which it is rigged like that. it will take time. i would support undoing our income tax to get rid of it completely and replace it with a consumption tax. away from are a ways that. when i was in the state house, i thought about what the state government was doing among which
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was giving out all sorts of targeted tax breaks and benefits. the more complicated you make the tax code, the more benefits for the wealthy people. yes? question is about immigration reform. i saw in the new yorker people inthat said michigan will have a hard time this season picking apple crops because they will not have enough migrant workers. if you wouldng support a bill from the senate or something different to get immigration reform passed? >> i would not support the senate bill, but i would support immigration reform. security,have border which includes dealing with visa over stays the some people overstay their visas, you need
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to have a better legal immigration system so people can come here and become president legally or come here to find work legally. currently, it is hard to come to the u.s. whether it is as a guest worker or if you want to become a resident. it is difficult. we need to improve that system. that is where we tend to get a lot of push back. a lot of democratic colleagues do not want to improve the legal system. in approvingrested citizenship, but not the legal immigration system. i think the legal immigration system would help with border security. you will likely have less people trying to cross illegally. deal with 11 million people who are here illegally. no one will deport them.
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you have to find a way to give them legal status over a long period of time. once they have obtained that, they can be treated like anyone else who is here as a legal resident. if they want to obtain citizenship, they will not go ahead of anyone else. they will be treated like anyone else who came here illegally. this is not a special pass to citizenship. give them the ability to be here legally and then they are treated like everyone else. they're not moved into the front of the line or anything like that. yes? control.tion on gun what is your stance on it? and where are we as a government with the gun control situation? risen -- orders in our what type of control
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do you have against executive orders? a voice.re do not have >> on gun control, i am skeptical of federal involvement in gun control. the second amendment is extremely important. it is important as any other part of the constitution. there is a reason it is in place . you have to consider the context of how it was put in place. the want to make sure that people would be protected and always have the right to defend themselves. important that the federal government not infringe upon that right. the is where i stand with specter gun control. with the respect executive orders, some executive orders are ok. a lot executive orders have not been ok.
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they take an old law and interpret that law to provide them with some authority to do something new when congress doesn't want to pass a new law. the white house says, well, we will do it using this old law and reinterpret this law to allow us to do it. that is wrong. that is unconstitutional. we should do what we can to defund those kinds of activities. congress holds the purse strings. we do not have to fund activities that we think are unconstitutional. yes? i think you are the youngest person in the town hall. [laughter] >> i have a question about p rism.
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i'm on the internet a lot. this, i was about really mad because the government should not be spying on us. i'm not even sure why anyone has second thoughts on this. as is unconstitutional. unconstitutional. it goes against what america's founding fathers have said. >> that is a great question. prism program is largely classified. there has been some talk about it. i have to be careful with what i say. the bottom line is, there are too many people in congress right now who are forgetting that there is a constitution that restricts what they do.
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the point of the constitution is to restrict what the federal government does. in the name of security, they are forgetting that their first right or the is to protect liberties. that is why we have a government to ensure that we have liberty as a people. that is what they are forgetting. they are focused solely on the security aspect. ory think as long as the nsa some other agency is stopping bad guys, they can go after collecting information on all sorts of people and have no consequences. of course, there is a huge threat to that. we do not want the government to have this kind of data to use against americans in the future. >> yeah. about,'m also worried like, all the gay rights stuff. i'm thinking, like, this could
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be like the racism thing. but it is like the same thing except it is between days and -- gays and non-gays. who cares? does it really matter? [applause] >> that is a great point. the governmente should be involved in deciding who can get married and who cannot. that is not an appropriate role for the government. marriage is a private institution. it is between two people and their personal lives. i'm an orthodox christian. my wife and i do not need the government telling us that we can get married. no one else needs a government telling them that they can get married. that is up to them. i agree with you. [applause] yes? i guess my main question is
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since congress is supposedly a holding the purse strings of our interested in what is going to happen with the so- called affordable care act. what are the chances of congress actually holding the purse strings on that? great question. i think that they should defund it. they shouldn't pass an appropriations bill in september that funds obama care. right now that is the debate. there are republican members in congress who think we should fund obamacare thomas and there are others who think we should not. i think the law is unconstitutional. i think it will hurt our health care. choices.educe the more regulations you have on
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the insurance industry, the more you create a monopoly of insurance were a few players control the whole market. what you really want to have is more competent haitian. less regulation on insurance some are types of insurance to be offered and people could make decisions for their own lives and what it when the purchase. you also need to find a way to move away from the third-party payer system that we have. away from that. what you do is you buy insurance and you go to the doctors office . patients and doctors do not know how much a procedure costs. they do not know how much medication costs. there is no incentive that people have right now to keep costs down. if you know everything is covered by insurance, you will just take it. there ends up being an overusage with a lot of medical care. not with all, but a lot. beforeice to people
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government got involved in this was the fact that you would go and have theal insurance pay the medical expenses out of your pocket. they always had a little bit pay of their own. man, two of my kids were born without insurance. i paid payments. i paid the whole thing. onlyurse, back then it was $250. [laughter] act,y, the affordable care i do not want bureaucrats telling me what services i will qualify for. >> and what kind of insurance
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you can get. >> that is true. i can imagine what the price will be. i have got medicare right now. but there was money taken out of it to put into the affordable care act. what will that do to my coverage? to be honest, i am scared to death. i have my wife and my family. >> a lot of people are worried about this. i have spoken at a number of town halls. it is the number one issue that comes up. people are concerned about obamacare. i think it is a train wreck. i do not think it will work. we will have to move to something that is more free- market oriented. able topeople to be make choices for their own lives and were prices mean something. in the back. go ahead. [indiscernible]
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many folks in this room are seniors. many will have benefited in some manner to preventive services and other screenings that they never would have had before. the grandchildren are able to be on their parents insurance that was not there before. i might -- more concerned with how congress cannot work together. why can't both sides fix this? the affordable care act has a lot of good things. it is not great. thanks it. tonot spend 40 times trying vote it down. you are wasting our resources. many seniors are over 60. they are anxious about it because of that misinformation from both sides. it.
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don't try to get rid of it. to stop social security, medicare, medicaid, and a number of things that were similar to this. the affordable care act was based upon massachusetts, governor romney's state, they helped develop the model. it is not all bad. do not try to throw all of it out. you are making a mistake. there are a number of good things in it. except. i mentioned a couple. out -- it will not mess you up if you are on medicare. you will not be messed up by it. we have a help system that is privatized. all of the hospitals are biting it eacher out -- buying
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other out. that is what is making it so expensive to go to the hospital. >> [inaudible] >> hang on. let's all be respectful. let's all be respect will please. -- respectful please. cost byot lower the mandating everyone to be on the insurance. you cannot do it. we cannot mandate that everyone gets on it and expect prices to go down. it will not go down. both parties are concerned about it. it is not just one sided. remember whent to we talked about working together at obamacare was passed with one party passing it. one party basically passed it over the objections of the other party. you will not have any sort of reform that is acceptable to the
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public when one party decides they will pass it and the other party completely objects to it. that is a serious flaw in the way that it was passed. whether it is immigration reform or health reform, you need some agreement to train the parties on this issue. -- between the parties on these issues. >> i have written to you and have commended you for doing the town halls. iu are the guy to vote for if get the chance, and i did. i have only two questions. if you have been in jail for a dui and you got out, does that take away your voting rights for life? >> i do not think so. have you been in jail for a dui? i wouldn't know.
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i do not believe it would take away your voting rights. >> i heard it was in another i have friends who think they cannot come here because it would have to show a voting card. >> i do not think that is true. you could always ask someone on my staff afterwards. >> i will. question -- i have one more question. [inaudible] >> do you have a question? -- do you have an answer? you may vote once you are out of incarceration. >> thank you. a ccw in michigan and plan to drive in other states, what other -- >> then you can get in trouble.
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in that case, i would not recommend taking that trip. [laughter] >> thank you. >> i know some who did that and went to jail because of it. yes? >> my name is jane wilson. i'm very concerned about something that has been very subtly passed all across the land that affects all of our children. it has not come to the legislature. , theme from the department state department of education. it is from the u.s. department of education, arnie duncan. it is a federal takeover of our including all of our children. it has -- i am very concerned
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about this. data collection on all of our children and putting them into a national databank with a lot of private information. 415 items on every child. it does not only collecting the , but they are breaking three federal laws. they are going against one of which saysnts, states are to be controlling education, and they have also changed the family rights and privacy law so that they can collect all of this information. the purpose of it is to dumb down our children and to indoctrinate them so that they
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will accept a left-wing idea of and our country's history. it is dumbing them down. teachers and parents who do know about it are very concerned. i spoke to a teacher last night at the county fair. -- but thewith what thing is, most parents do not know about it. they are the ones who signed us this thing that we are a part of. that we haveine never passed before. it takes away any safe from anybody within the state. it has been given control to this consortium. there is no mind to go to if we do not like it or if we want to change it.
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duncan, thererne needs to be some hearings on him and his activities. i learned yesterday that our kellogg's on patient has given $400,000 to -- has given they can get- so information on preschoolers. >> i'm against that. [applause] i do not want the federal government telling our schools what to do. i think that is a bad idea. it is not good for students. education should be something that is handled locally. you should have states competing to have the best system rather than having one standard that creates problems for the whole country. i'm against that. we should return our control to
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local families and local governments. and indoctrinating ideologies? >> i do not know what the standards are. i cannot comment on that. [indiscernible] >> i love that information. thank you. >> yes question -- yes? they have thousands of people doing things that are illegal. for instance, recruiting non- eligible voters to vote. and they're being funded by federal taxpayer money. people must stop. ok, great number of these people went to work for other organizations doing the same thing.
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being funded by federal money. that is the question. >> i do not know. i have not voted for any of those appropriations bills. the appropriation bill i voted for was veterans affairs. the other appropriation bills i have not voted for. so, i couldn't tell you the details of every single appropriation bill. >> there are a bunch of other organizations that these people have gathered. one other thing -- in the past year, i heard the president saying everybody should vote. to sell want anyone them legal ids to vote. vote. i understand that was even an executive order. here, these you are people are voting, they are not
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even here legally. i do not think they can go, but they were voting. that is what i read in the paper. what are we doing about it? >> only citizens should vote. i do not how to address the issue other than that. only people who aren't legal voters with citizenship should vote -- are legal voters with citizenship should vote. have i called on you? when we were talking about obamacare, you made a comment that i heard from many representatives and from senators. we need more competition in the system as opposed to more
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regulation. have never is i heard anyone explain who is competing against who. a user under i'm this system. i can i shop for quality or price. i cannot call of doctors up to find out who will give me the cheapest operation on my arm. i cannot call a fire hospitals to see who will charge the most hospitalssia -- five to see who will chose the most for anesthetia. who will compete? >> the insurers will. >> the insurance companies? why would he want to trust them to run the entire medical system? grumbling] >> that is not true.
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you're trusting the federal government to run the health system. doctorse do not have being employed by the government like they do in some countries. most hospitals are private operations. they may not be for-profit, but private operations. if you do not have regulations, how would you achieve polity? -- quality? >> you achieve quality through competition. >> competition? >> if there is less regulation, you could have more competition. the more regulation you have, the less competition. congress, the people who come to me and asked for regulations the most are big corporations. a are constantly in the office saying, we want regulations put in place. the reason they want it is because they want to limit the competition. they want to drive out small
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competitors who have fewer employees and do not have the ability to handle the regulations. that way they can monopolize the market. if you have the government saying that insurance has to happen hundred different items, you will have prices go up. works. the only way it you have to allow insurance companies to offer all sorts of products. some cheap, some expensive, and let people decide how they want to spend their money. >> before we had obamacare, we had a system. it was being run by the insurance industry. >> unfortunately, we have never had a system where we had the type of freedom to choose and l insurancets -- sel products that are required. what you are saying is that
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the insurance companies are going to sell hospitals and doctors through their competitive programs how much can be charged and that will lower prices? aref insurance companies allowed to compete with each other, you will have better insurance companies that offer better products at a lower price. >> and the doctors and hospitals will except the cut in their pay? >> will you have to have a competitive market on the one way or the other. >> the patients can do it. time, we interest of will take a few more questions. keep your questions brief. >> all right. i have called on you, right? yeah. let me go back there. >> representative amash, as
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someone who has voted for you, i am very pleased with what you have performed in congress. i would like to say that about some of the gop leadership, unfortunately, i cannot. at this pointue -- there are so many of them -- is not obamacare -- is on obamacare and the upcoming vote to fund or not fund it. in listening to the national discourse, it appears that the republicans are divided as to whether or not they will fund or defund it. there is a very strong argument or a movement toward defending it and dealing with it piecemeal at a later time. vote to fund or defund is
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probably the most important and critical of them all. is will you shut down the federal government? blamedublicans are being that if they do find it, they will shut down the u.s. government. i would like my voice to be heard. i think you should defund it. if the federal government gets not be theit will republicans, but the president of the united states. [applause] leadership needs to understand that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. [applause]
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>> as i said, i support defunding it. go ahead. first off, in the interest of obamacare, i would like to say that no good idea ever came out of being mandated. [laughter] i cannot talk about campaign issues at this town hall. let me go in the back. since obamacare seems to be the topic -- >> talk about any topic you want. recently to the hospital. he got bit by a dog. we had to go to two different ones because one would not take him.
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we watched an entire movie of "cars" before someone saw him. i was watching my son scream and bleed because he got bit by a dog. i'm in a situation where i want to buy a book and learn how to do my own stitches so i do not have to deal. [laughter] i wellpoint do we abolish the federal government -- at what point do we abolish the federal government? [laughter] [applause] has anfederal government important role. you have to follow what the constitution says. most of those relate to national defense. that is what the federal government should be focused on, national defense. it is national defense, they are very poor at it. shouldn't we get a new one? [laughter] >> they haven't done a great job
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of focusing their efforts properly are falling the constitution when it comes to national defense. that is covered in several numerators powers. that should be the priority of the federal government. >> [indiscernible] >> go ahead. >> i'm from battle creek. i would like to bring up a topic of engineering. finee having tons of particles spread through the atmosphere. believe -- if you go on the internet and study what is kind of poison does, you will find diseases like alzheimer's and nerve diseases and asthma and things like that. so much of that is going around.
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i have to think that we are being poisoned rather than having all of these degenerated diseases because we are living. i think there is something going on there. i wanted to bring up that topic. >> is there a question associated with that? to aerosol us? yesterday over battle creek, i could have played take cap toe on the sky. there was crosshatch is going every different way. you could watch the material spread out and form clouds. it was supposed to be a lightly cloudy day. it almost looked like it was going to pour down rain. experience, my lungs started to burn and within five minutes, i put on a mask and a long stopped burning. i do not know who is deciding
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this. it is like we do not have any control over anything weather weekend breathed air or any kind of thing. breathe air oran any kind of thing. >> [indiscernible] >> yes. i'm a guy who likes to ride around with my windows open. people should not pollute the environment without consequences. go ahead. >> as it is a key region in the area, how concerned are you about egypt right now? and defunding our aid to the area? they do not seem to want it or our assistance. >> i'm very concerned about our foreign policy.
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it has been disastrous in the middle east. the government has been sending money to countries that are actively against us. there is total instability. we do not know where the money or weapons are going to. we need to stop meddling in those places. when it comes to places that are facing these types of civil wars , we need to be careful to mind our own business before we get ourselves into something that we do not want to get ourselves into. yes? >> i want to talk about the national debt. i think that is the armageddon coming down the road. i heard you quote $17 trillion come but really it is $70 trillion. when you look at the budget bill or budget proposal that goes out
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including social security, at $70e, we are looking trillion. three quantitative easing's. the bond yield increases, and so does our payment on the national debt. what is our plan for the national debt? how will we decrease it? lot.vel a the indiana toll road -- most of the garages in chicago are or around -- are owned by foreign countries. what we do there? >> unfortunately, the government has not had a real plan for the national debt. both parties have ignored it. i have it together and balance
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budget amendment. it will require the spending levels be no higher than the average tax revenues of the previous few years. it has a smoothing effect. the nice way in which it would work, i have had republicans and democrats signed on to it. it had the most to my credit cosponsors of any new balance budget amendment in recent years. it is a new type of proposal. we need to put something like that in place to force congress to get together and work on this issue. democrats who do not want to deal with social security, medicare, or medicaid reform. those are big areas of government. not want tooften do do with military spending reform. that is another large area of government.
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the fact that national defense should be the number one priority does not mean that there is no waste in the pentagon. there is plenty of waste. both sides need to work together and fashion a compromise that deals with our deficit and our debt. you will have to look at all of these areas. i will criticize my own party. there's plenty of criticism on the upper side -- on the other side. there are bills that are going through congress now. all of the appropriations bills come in at the sequester level --less except for one bill the defense bill. but comes in above the sequester level. you cannot have it both ways. you cannot say you want to cut federal spending and when it comes to defense, you will not cut their. andcannot ignore the law keep spending. the two sides need to come together.
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medicare,urity, medicaid, defense. the fifth-largest area is interest on the debt. if interest rates went up, the debt because him is equivalent to defense spending. you could run into a situation where interest on the debt is -- per year. we are selling off our assets. we sold off to foreign countries. we have sold to the chinese. what we're doing quietly is selling off the assets of the united states to the highest bidder. i'm really concerned about that when we have a lot of foreign interest that own america. >> the biggest issue is what the total reserve does. independentlyey instead of hand to hand like they are supposed to do?
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>> the federal reserve is a problem. basicallysystem where [no audio] [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> sure. >> michigan congressman justin amash had a leading role in the debate over the nsa before the august recess. that is his town hall meeting district ride a in his in michigan. you can watch that and all of the town halls we are covering on c-span in our video library at c-span.org. monday,c-span town hall
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tuesday, wednesday nights during that congress recess. we are spending time looking at issues of policies and politics. we are opening up the lines to get your thoughts on the issues of the day. we will look at town halls themselves. a couple of questions we're going to ask you. we are going to ask you how helpful are congressional town halls? we are also on twitter #cspanchat and face back here it on facebook we asked the question how have you interacted with fewer member of congress? we will get a different take from some on facebook. a couple here already. this one is from james to says i
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post on his facebook page but we do not agree on much of anything. i hope you will decide wednesday to vote for his constituents and not the special interest in the rnc. somealks about retweeting of the recalcitrance. go ahead and post or comment on facebook and we will read some of those and tweets as well. we have also been looking at a roll call. they are keeping a tally of who is holding the most town halls. here is a look at the latest tally. august by the numbers is the column they updated a couple of times a week. townlisted the top 10 hall members. most of them are republican members. you will see at the top mark of
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oklahoma who has 26 townhome meetings attended or planned for the congressional recess. we will talk to congressman mullen and the next hour. this afternoon we spoke with scissors or chuck grassley who has so far 11 townhome meetings. the number one issue you're hearing about during your town halls? >> the economy and jobs. connected with that would be we the budget deficit. among particular concern for people who are smaller employers, and bomb -- obamacare. >> see you have any examples of any people giving you specific problem's they are telling you about? lack i think it is mostly that thee is so much about healthcare reform bill that's they do not know how it is going to affect them.
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there are more questions about how it is going to impact them. what the cost might be and a lot of doubt. there has not been a specific case except they're putting people on part-time. consider part time at 35 hours or in some cases maybe even full-time. dutywant to be under that number of employees behalf have to pay the mandate. >> during the congressional recess we are following a number of members as they do their town halls. we're also looking at the reporting of roll call call. they have a top 10 list of who has done the town halls so far and how many. you said as of yesterday you did 11 was senator fisher.
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forhat a typical number you for an august recess? >> no. it would be smaller. the first nine months of this did 84 counties. i only have 15 counties left to do. i will finish them the week of next week. done all the counties every year. the entire 33 years i have been in the united states senate. i made a point of doing that, not something i promised my constituents would do. nolways want to make sure part of the state is forgotten. year int least one every county where i let the audience set the agenda. going to take you a
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couple of minutes to say how we are going to run that meeting. you can ask personal questions if you want to. i usually tell them that i do this in the spirit of representative government. if you are going to representing government you're going to have to have dialogue between those of us who are elected. just by saying we are together for an hour and 15 women. if you cannot keep it up only see it face to face, right letters and e-mails -- write me letter.he i do it to promote representative government. want too it because i
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know what my constituents stand on issues in order to represent a minority. >> how do town halls compared to four years ago before the healthcare law? how does it sound to you in ?ecember 2013 12,00 , 15.r this year they are different from the standpoint and the intensity of the arguments that people use. the number of people that turned up. and alsogust of 2009 during all of 2009. i generally will give you the figures for a 20 year average. in rural iowa, maybe 30 or 40 people come to a town meeting. during 2009 i would have to to three times that much on average.
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sometime meetings got so big that incident the whole amendment in the courthouse courtroom we went out to the --rthouse maybe 700 feet be 750 people would show up in dallas county. just a few examples of how people were very upset at that particular time. >> you do get some down time. c-span follows all members of congress on twitter. scissors are grassley cannot help but show this tweet -- should assure -- senator grassley could not help but show this tweet. >> i think it was the 1100 pounds. inc. thatfour or five every year i go see even if i know roughly what they are going to be. the buttered cow sculptures want the biggest one. the biggest pick member three. i make a point to spending the
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time at the republican booth. >> thank you very much. this is c-span. >> how helpful are town halls? the phone numbers here. here is fred. he asks why are there no town halls i meetings from schools where we need to get the future of america involved? go ahead. i went to our representatives town hall meeting in our town a week or two ago.
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it is scheduled to be a 30 to 930 in the morning. at 10 after nine he was still pontificating after the first question. we started with a pledge in an indication. to talk to his staff people and this is a waste of time. i've got better things to be doing than this. not looking for dialogue with the electorate. just a dog and pony show to look how great i am and aren't you thankful that you elected me to congress? his name is randy another bauer -- nuggabauer. i do not have anything against him personally. he is like grassley. i do not know what would happen if we just had ordinary people go to congress and we could have
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disagreements instead of trying to talk sideways. >> was there an issue you specifically wanted to ask? >> not really. it seemed like it was going to be dominated by obamacare. i am in a very safe ready district. it is just pandering to the extreme right as far as i'm concerned. i am heavily independent, leaning toward libertarian. most ofed republican my life. i voted for rick perry when he was running for state rep. >> we are going go to our republican line. caller: on the topic of town halls, i went to a town hall recently. i agree. i think it is essential for the
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government. i think it is important to keep representatives on their toes. it is one thing to get a letter from a constituent. it is another to answer a question directly face to face. that is good. i can agree that a lot of the time it almost seems that what they are seeing is a reaffirmation. like it times it seems is for show, like they have to do it. i am seeinghings especially in the recent weeks is the issues of the fisa courts. this was asked multiple times during the town hall. it is something that you can get an answer from your representatives but they cannot say anything about it. this is really troubling to me. , to seeng republican
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these kind of programs happen, i want an answer that is going to lead to him getting these programs out. >> do you see the gesture in a mosh -- justin amash townhall? >> yes. >> he specifically addresses some of the nsa issues. we go to karen on our democrat line. caller: hi. this is karen. i was at a town hall meeting with senator grassley a couple of years ago. was talking about it. he said it was a government run program. he was afraid that the government was going to take over and all of this. that the meeting, i said is incorrect. it is run through the private
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entrance agencies. meant 10'm intent -- i years from now. i think the town halls are just to promote him, not to help the people. i think town halls would be a lot better if you could follow up with questions and asked the representatives what they are going to do. i noticed that the townhall i not watched, he did correct people when they had a completely erroneous idea about medicare. obamacare will not affect people on medicare at all. host: he said he does 99 counties. whahow long did it last? caller: a little over an hour or something like that. i think it is a promotional thing for him. i didn't think he wants to hear hear what the people have to say. thanks for your call.
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the issue of obamacare coming up. the christian science monitor with what awaits the president as he returns. and the most important issues they talk about is the new spending plan with congress. the most important short-term issue is reaching a new spending plan in concert with congress. the most important issue is the economy. obama planned a bus tour of the u.s. to put forth at least some of his ideas about what to do. the of the christian science monitor. bobby scott was asked several questions. here are of what he had to say. >> my question was not about the delay. my question was the exemptions such as he granted to you. from thisempt program. then he gave it to all of the
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unions that he did. what happened in congress that we havell only employees in the country that lose their health insurance and have to go into the exchange. we notice wee it, are getting health insurance as a benefit. we're are going to be no worse off than we were before we went into the exchange. that is what is going on in congress. thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is thurgood hampton.
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[inaudible]sed are gettinglients medicaid. i have to read about health insurance. sometimes i do not. a whole that the definitions when you go into the hip and training. it gives very involved. every time they talk about the how, they talk about the same choices that the members of congress. they brought -- they have a bronze in a silver and gold plan. >> members of congress will be getting the same kind of plan that the marketplace has. are theof congress only employees in the country
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that cannot keep the insurance they got. >> you have deductibles and everything. the same policy like you will. >> my other question is we got an insane congress. anytime you try to repeal a law that is approved by the supreme court, you try to repeal it for the time. definition ofive sanity -- insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. it has been 40 times. when is it so bad about this affordable care act that those other people, young man who i'm talking about, come on. let's get real.
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[applause] this is the deal. thatis so bad about it they want to repeal it so bad? the do not want to have same that other people have or they want to keep on? i do not know what they want to do. >> do want want me to try that? >> i do not think i should go there. >> we are so bad about it. sir, i will try to answer a little bit. the congressman and his staff will have the same insurance that is in the exchange. that is a -- that is required. as a result of that date did the federal employee health benefits that was a really good deal.
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he is going to get the same insurance plan that you might get if you're in the exchange. there are some differences about the employer contributions to it that it is different. the is not the reason republicans have been going after this. that is the least thing they care about in all of this. >> i do not know what else they are doing. >> do you want me to tell you? >> help me out. hold on. >> i will tell you. this is the hard part of the discussion. i have a three-year-old granddaughter. when my granddaughter was born three years ago, her share of the federal debt was $44,000. the important thing is that this year for share is about 54,000 dollars. every man, woman, and child owes a piece of that debt. what congress has not figured out how to do is to balance the budget.
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i think the essence of this problem, and we talk about the money being 100% federal money the questionrs, is who is paying for it? we are barring all this money for china. china has a billion people in the navy. we're going to have to pay them back. that is what the essence of the discussion is. i think the essence here of what they are arguing about is what is the proper role of government and what is the proper role of the taxpayers and how much more should we tax paid for and how much should be spending cuts. that is what this is cut up and. this is not about congress benefits. >> one of the things we did when we passed obamacare was to make sure it was fully paid for. we may some changes in medicare. i think everybody can remember the number $716 billion that we
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took out a medicare to pay for healthcare and obamacare. we raised taxes. when the dust settles, the congressional research service estimates there will be more pay for then there are services. the budget will be about $100 billion that are off in 10 years. a lot more better off in the future. because of obamacare. the suggestion that it is a fiscal responsibility issue, there is no wrong -- nothing wrong with looking at the numbers. if you look at the numbers and start contracts to the medicare part d prescription drug, that is money that did not pay for. it went to the bottom-line. this is where the deficit is coming from.
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this is how we got in the ditch that we are in. with obamacare, we meticulously made sure, and the tv commercial is running on its, we like to run on the benefits. if you're doing it right, you need to do both. they talk about repealing obamacare. you get the sense that you can repeal obamacare without repealing the taxes that are paid for. if you repeal the whole thing, if you started from scratch, the deficit would be worse. >> that is bobby scott of virginia. his recent town hall meeting. heritage action making a concerted effort to defund obamacare. jim demint is leading a bus tour that tomorrow will make a stop in tampa florida.
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senator ted cruz also along in the bus. our question for you is our congressional town halls helpful? waiting.r go ahead with your comments. caller: i just want to say that town halls in general simply are not addressing certain very a sick simple things. for example, if we just promoted veganism, we would be conserving water and land which are increasingly valuable. would definitely be reducing world hunger and unrest. they would be able to mature at a healthier pace. there are many other issues concerned with something like this. it is something that cannot be done.
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it is being research. it is a healthy way. we jews us -- we just do not hear enough about something like this. would increase our financial stability. our government is subsidizing these are. increasing our health care costs. they are unhealthy. money is not only taken out directly from our national covers but interacting with -- and wrigley because health care costs increase. becausendirectly health care costs increased. they will strike again. it is simple things. even in schools, just handwashing. things that are forced on people like the advanced meters that
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the gas companies now are trying to come along and stall. >> several issues raised there. newarko to new work, -- california. host: regarding the questions and whether town hall meetings are helpful, it really depends. , i do believe there needs to be maybe an independent committee of citizens in the district at every town hall meeting whose express purpose is to determine actuallyhe congress stated things that were factual or whether the congressperson just stated this in a way that we get people riled for his own political purposes. host: who is your
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representative? caller: mike honda. host: has he held town halls? seen a townve not hall that he has held. he just became a person after redistricting. town halln to his meeting. town halls are worthless he says fear their only an opportunity for politicians to tell you what they want, not to interact. jeff is in sun city, california. he is on our republican line. good evening. caller: i have a different take on everything. i think town halls definitely give you a sense of what the politician stands for, if he is hiding behind a curtain, it he
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is not answering a question legitimately. that are everyday folk find out who is going to be speaking at the town hall meeting. ,he impression they are giving they're usually not written by any journalist. you're not written by any politician advocate. they're people that want to go and hear who is representing them. case town halls are very helpful. >> philadelphia's next, republican line. >do you think town halls are helpful? isler: my representatives shocked at the top -- shaka fatah. they promote themselves. they come in, they tell people what they want to hear. they try to be friendly and happy.
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then they are gone. i think it is a way for them to get out in front of the voters before the next election. host: have you actually been out to a town hall with him? caller: i do not think there has been one since he was last elected courses the 2010 election. >> i will look on twitter. there were some postings from members earlier. i thought i had seen one for him. round rock, texas. thanks for that tal call. it is our independent mind. town hallsust think are really great and everything for people to get together. when it comes to the real issues the country is dealing with, that is not really what is talked about.
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it is just a duality. they are either one or the other. areissues discussed distracting them from real issues. they did start to talk about a real issue on my tv. it was censored. the federal reserve. it just sensitive. >> what do you mean? it was right at the end of it. what made you think it was censored? caller: the audio just turned off. host: we did have some audio issues. it was a technical issue on our part. it was not censorship. caller: it's a mike beebe as part of the whole town hall
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meeting. -- the best part of the whole townhall meeting. go to ourshould website and check it there. it is available in our video library. we are checking facebook. you're asking what sort of interaction have you had with your member of congress? she said i do not think they would let me stay on. patricia says i sent darrell issa a thank you card for all he does to keep hand bring -- to keep hammering away on all the scandals. on the issue of her congressman, they published the list of the 50 wealthiest members of congress. sell the fortune rise to 355 million in 2012.
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issa snatched the number one spot away from mike mccall of texas who came in second with a net worth of at least $101 million. they come in with the disclosure firms covering the 2012 calendar year. greg is in illinois. here's in iraq -- he is on a republican line. i thought the congressman from michigan had a meeting.llent townhall also the democratic fellow he had on their not too long ago, i think is was good as well. i went to two town hall meetings for our local congressman. i was disappointed. host: who is your congressman? caller: eric shock. they were only about an hour long. only about half that time was dedicated to question and
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answer. they were in too small of the buildings. there is not enough room for people. thething i liked about fellow from michigan and the theyratic fellow is that were in much larger areas. i know the fellow from michigan spent more time. there was a lot more audience participation. i believe it was senator grassley that made a comment about representative government. the republican fellow from democraticd the fellow, does represent much closer to what a town hall meeting should be like. i really like it that c-span is covering these. i'm going to check out some of the things in the video library.
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ents i'm goingmmo to make it our local newspaper about what we saw here. we have a lot of room for improvement. host: thank you for joining the conversation. we want to share you some of what justin amash had to say. you may recall he was in the center of the debate over the nsa funding on the defense spending bill. here is part of what he had to say. [video clip] >> what the nsa has been doing is collecting the phone records of every single person in the united states regardless of whether you are under suspicion of anything. has aer words, the nsa database. they actually collect every time you call someone, they collect the call you -- what was made, the duration of the call. they keep other sorts of metadata on your calls.
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they have been doing this for quite some time. it was recently disclosed. the problem of course is that they're doing it with out any suspicion. it is not matter whether you have a connection to a terrorist or not. doherty tohe it gather up everyone's data. this violates the fourth amendment. you cannot go around collecting collected -- without any suspicion. i've been fighting this for the past couple of months. we had ans ago amendment on the house floor. 200 and five members of wegress stood up and said do not approve of the nsa
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collecting the phone records of every single person in the united states without any suspicion. unfortunately, 217 members said they were ok with it. i think the tide is turning. i think things are shifting as we hear more things in the news about what the nsa and government is doing. we have heard other reports about how it might be sharing information with eda -- dea and irs. according to reports, they incidentally collect your information, inadvertently collector information, and then use that information to go after people for domestic prosecutions. of course, this violates our rule of requiring specific warrants. you cannot have a system where the intelligence agencies
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collect data without a warrant and then give that to domestic agencies and say here you go and now you can prosecute people. according to the reports, there kscoveo at defense attorneys do not even know where the data came from. there are a lots of shocking allegations, revelations out there and reports. one of the things i can tell you is that we do not have very much oversight and government of these programs. there is a secret fisa court that interpret things like the patriot act. are not available to members of congress. ,or example, the patriot act it belonged related to data gathering and members of congress have a particular interpretation of it when they
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pass it. i voted no to be clear when it was up for reauthorization. [applause] have aho voted yes particular interpretation of what the patriot act does. they have been horrified at what they found. the patriot act is being interpreted by the fisa court in a much more expansive way than what they expected. we when not have known about that if not for the recent disclosures. -- would not have known about that if not for the recent disclosures. it is secret. members of congress do not get access to those court opinions. you will have access provided to .he intelligence committee you have the white house with access. members of congress to not have access. i represent people just like anyone on the intelligence committee. when i am asked to vote on something, i deserve to have the information about the law that
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everyone else has. you should not keep most of congress in the dark about what they are voting on. that is what has happened repeatedly. amash at his town hall meeting on friday. this is a fan of ray who say we need to clone justin amash about 400 times in congress. audiblt honorable republican out there. he was a dressed pretty hard -- pretty harshly by one of his contention went. -- constituents. [video clip] >> congress is doing nothing about it. i trust you. i do not know why. [applause]
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congress is bought and paid for. the things that they are doing now, what am i supposed to do when homeland security stars barging in my house? >> i can tell you the culture is changing. >> i will shoot back here at >> the culture is changing. on the amendment you had democratic leadership. you have the intelligence community. you have all sorts of high level officials saying do not vote for this amendment it will be a disaster. the majority of democrats and nearly half republicans voted for the amendment. things are changing. it is going to take a little bit of work. we're going to have to get new people in there. "been there for long time are not getting the message. host: back to your calls here. are town halls helpful?
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caller: welcome. go ahead. hello. are you there? i think we lost kansas. looks good to fairmont, west virginia. george's honor democrat line. caller: god bless c-span. i am a great listener. i am 83 years old, conservative democrats. we have got to go back to the truman era. all of these democrats, i watch them every day. i have nothing else to do. i watch the news and c-span in the morning and evening and everything. these democrats that up there now, all they do is lie to the american people. they live like anything. i have never seen a bunch of liars and all of my life as this , especially the
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senate with harry reid. he should be gone. i do not know why he is even holding that job. the american people are so fed up with him. i cannot understand how he still has that job. they are not reading the phones off the hook to get the man out of the senate. he never brings the bill up for a vote or anything. he kills every vote before he even gets it. he don't let anybody hear anything. i cannot understand why the american people are not in an upright. host: can i ask you what you think about your two sisters -- your two senators? caller: i think he's doing a great job. i talked to him almost every day, two or three times a week. i call his office and everything. you. you can verify that any time you want. host: thanks for your call. looking at congressman mansion. -- manchin.
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there is no doubt that west virginia's politics are much tougher for democrats like manchin. 151.5% ofill clinton the votes on the way to winning his second presidential term. mitch romney's losing bid took on more 60% of that vote. president obama did not win a single county in rest virginia. bill in boiling springs, is that kentucky? caller: south carolina. host: things for your call. republican line. caller: i was at a town hall meeting. -- hello? trey gowdy. it was an excellent meeting. they questioned and. -- he questioned -- they questioned him on a lot of
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things that were on. he answered a lot of westerns. i thought he did an excellent job of reporting back to the people that elected him. host: was that the first time you have gone through a town hall meeting? caller: i have gone to several. i thought that was one of his best. host: sean is up next. just wanted to say that i think that these town hall meetings are absolutely essential in a time when the senate floor does not have debates. we simply have senators making a statement. it may get another statement on something else. it is really a rare moment of accountability between campaign promises. whatever side you're on, it is important we have some some access to our elected officials. host: goose townhall have you gone on to see? caller: in the past i have been with senator feingold that was
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unseated by senator ron johnson. ron johnson has not had a single townhall meeting since 2010. it is just a disappointment. host: thanks for your calls. more of them coming up. egypt aid as u.s. inches closer to a decision after the military crackdown in cairo. they report that the administration is undertaking a major review with relations with egypt. they're edging closer to a decision about curtailing some of the 1.5 billion dollars in aid after the crackdown on supporters of mohamed morsi. officials met at the white house to review the possibility of cutting aid to egypt. some cuts are forthcoming.
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they're speaking on questions of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about these discussions. another major security story will have his conclusion monday in the sentencing of bradley manning. bradley manning will be sentenced on wednesday. he will be sentenced for providing 700,000 secret government documents to ricky lee, -- wikileaks. faces up to 90 years in prison. he will be credited for the 3.5 years his already spent in custody. there is no minimum sentence. he has been kicked -- convicted and most of the accounts. they wrote reports about the strengthening of al qaeda. he says reports of al qaeda's
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demise may be greatly exaggerated. said today the state of al qaeda has been a central debate since the obama administration temporarily closed embassies across the middle east. analysts say it is proof that the obama administration jumped the gun beginning last year when it claimed al qaeda was on the decline. speechritics point to a in which president obama said al qaeda's core group in afghanistan and pakistan "is on the path to defeat. " our question for you, our congressional town hall meetings help all? back to the phones. that's good to our democrat line. -- lipitor democrat line. caller: i am a freedom fighter.
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i'm going to put you on hold for a second. make sure that you meet your television or radio. we will come back to you in a moment. north carolina, republican line. you got jim demint running around here and ted cruz worrying about obamacare. they need to be worrying about needing help. it has been appealed 39 times in court we get some of this money to people that need help. host: have they been in north carolina? caller: no. it hadn't got here yet. we have a bill over here on women.
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23 of young people or 24 years old, 20,000 raises this week. it was 26 or 25 years. with your staff making $60,000. they been there two months and you give them a $20,000 raise. host: thank you. let's go back to glenn on our democrat line. caller: ok. they are not giving people minimum wage. it is bad. they cut my medicare. stopestion is to you all, fussing and fighting and come together as one. they do not want to do that. they want to argue and fight and fuss. you got to compromise. go for your goal.
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the goal is do not cut mental health. that is stuff that they need. we do not need that. ?o you understand host: townhall allow voters to they aressues streaming helpful. townhall's work but you should already know when your representatives principles if you want free stuff. they do not need to listen. max says the constant chatter of whatnot is being done, can someone tell me what is being done? stephen is in florida on our independent mind. i want to thank you for having c-span. i watch it a lot and i think it is very educational.
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i think we have seen a lot of people that we do not get. there's too much news about this. i just listened to his conversation. know him. maybe he is good. there is one thing about this nsa thing that bugs me. we've got to get out something for our security. phone calls come into a database. if only once they check our they are from someone a radical. then they follow up. the rest are all laid aside. i think we are giving up national security by going through this. we have given up a lot. now they know what we are doing. act andll counter ou another way to get through. look at the world.
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all this on the streets. if we do not change our ways, we will have it right here in america. host: this is not too dissimilar le said in his townhall. [video clip] >> essentially right now you have a government agency that everyone's tax dollars is going to fund. every three months is going to this isaac court which nobody can appeal to -- fisa court which knowing can -- nobody can appeal to. you have an fbi that believes and has went to court to say a warranto not need to put a gps tracking device on your car. irs whose official position is that they do not need a warrant to check your e- mail. this is the same irs who has no
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compunction about abusing their authority. so far, nobody has really paid a price for targeting tea party groups. the situation that i find is that nothing is being done to these government agencies. from my perspective, it is like the only privacy you really have is what the government says that you have. was really pumped when you .oted against the nea i was really happy about that. i was really disappointed that you voted against this. i would really 19 oh why you voted against restricting the nsa from collecting all of our data. are collecting that information. i would like to know why you decided to do that. if you really thought that it
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was not such a big deal and that there is really no expectation, when can we expect you to publish your cell phone calls online so we know he you called? rex great question. >> that is a great question. i think this is one of the most important discussions and debates in the country. . think it will continue to be it is the debate between liberty and security. let's talk about the nsa vote. weyou have additional stuff will give you the opportunity to do that. i looked at this issue really, really carefully. theer one, nobody likes fact that any government agency is collecting massive amounts of data. they certainly have the ability to know who you have called.
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federal judges that look at this and say it is constitutional. we know we have stopped about 50 terrorist attacks. it is a lot to deal with this sort of stuff. i look at who is on the intelligence committees. one of the guys is tom coburn. i was at the oklahoma press association meeting. i watched him stand up and said this has been asked oversight, the most accountable and was absolutely saving american lives. there are 14 other members. every single one of them. except one. i think there is one that didn't. written out of the 14 voted that way.
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both the speaker and the minority leader. revelations.nowden he did not give us an instance of abuse. look at the irs. terrific abuse of power. individual cases have come forward. the people who are supposed to also the committee strongly. the amendment in front of us with have totally stopped the program. i applaud him for having brought the amendment. i told him this and congress. i think this is an important debate to have. i do not blame you for using the only legislative they go you have.
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what really need is a series of hearings and investigations where you hold people accountable. the law and you change it if you need to. we say nothing has happened, you say not enough has happened. peoplenot have the same -- who love them fired and removed. be laws.l if you look at the financial services bill that has gone through the subcommittee on areopriations, not only they defunded from obamacare, there are real cuts. the same thing he said happen i do not think we ought to immediately tossed out programs that we think about and look at the security people on both sides of the aisle
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telesis has made a difference. >> timesman tom cole of oklahoma. we are asking you, do you find congressional town halls helpful? we aren't facebook facebook.com/c-span -- we are on a spoke. facebook.com/cspan. this is from eleanor holmes to come to my job fair tomorrow. here's one from connecticut. exercise my first amendment right to trash talk with chris murphy.
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she is on a democrats line. go ahead. >> this is elizabeth. i am 90 years old. i have been listening to your program now faithfully for several months. i regret not having listened before in knowing more about my government. that myry to say children have never in interested. there they would he if were something that really affected them. i am in favor of the townhall meeting. i do not totally understand what the nsa is.
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i get the phone calls. i get the phone calls is a part of their work at least. do things i am aware that are against the law. i do not worry about it. thatsure there are things could eventually develop given the freedom. that i am soo say asteful that obama was voted the president. i was exhilarated by the fact that host: thank you for joining us
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this evening. louisiana is next, republican line. caller: yes, good evening. i love you so much. i watch you all the time. spent my life all around the world. i think everybody needs to -- >> what about the issue we are talking about? do you find congressional town halls -- who is your representative? do you find the town halls in your district to be useful? caller: yes, that is a good thing there. to get together with these people there. it is a good thing there. host: jeffrey, thanks for your call. another issue that we haven't talked about so much this evening in terms of what people are hearing at town halls, this is the headline, lawmaker pressed on reform at town hall
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meeting. let's talk to bob in virginia who had a town hall recently. it says the focus was as godlattereform denied and -- enforcement mandates for legal status for people in the country unlawfully. castro, a latino teenager pressed goodlatte on the bill. i am troubled by your proclamation the border security will not be dealt with before documentation is given to immigrants, said castro who is a member of the virginia organizing activists committee. a couple more calls. let's go to carolyn in indiana. independent line. caller: yes, i have a remark or question about the secret fisa
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court. host: go ahead. caller: my understanding is that chief justice roberts appoints this court. am i right? host: that is a very good question. i can't say for sure. i think you are right. caller: there are 11 republicans on it and one democrat. as far as the town hall meetings, i probably wouldn't go. that is all i have to say. host: who is your presented of? -- your representative? thanks for your call. numbers,t town hall town hall meetings by the numbers, one of the ones at the top of the list is congressman mark wayne mullen from oklahoma.
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him on thep with road this afternoon. is theressman, what number one issue you are hearing about as you do these town halls? >> probably the overreach. it comes in all different aspects. it really depends on the crowd. we have such a large district. majority of vast individuals. we could be talking about government programs as far as nsa and different types of concerns they have at the irs. on the other side, you can talk about the overreach of education and how they come into our rural communities and schools. it is always the same thing. we have completed 73 town hall meetings total since i have been elected. it is the same concern we have. people understand the need of government, it is just when the become too intrusive in our
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lives. let us breathe, let us live our lives, let us be americans. >> we are spending the evening asking our viewers and listeners whether they find town halls helpful. as a congressman, do you find these meetings helpful? >> absolutely. we are unique because of how large our district is. we have 26 counties. there are a few congressmen and congress women that have a larger district than that, but the only way we can communicate effectively with everybody is through town hall meetings. there isn't a media source that can cover our entire district. we have to go to them. in our campaign, what we heard over and over again was people said the only time they ever saw their congressman was during the campaign cycles. that is not who we are. we want to make sure we are accountable to the individual and the only way we can be accountable is to make sure that we stand in front of them and hold ourselves accountable. host: this is your first
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opportunity. you were elected last november. how does this feel compared to campaigning? >> it probably feels a little bit better because we are in a situation where we are able to go back and deliver some of the messages, some of the frustrations and good ideas. even today, we have a gentleman making a very good suggestion on something that he thought would , to hold idea government agencies accountable. i have to agree with him. one of the biggest thing that we at out of this -- i come from little bit different spot than a lot of my colleagues. i have literally never owned my first suit until after i won the primary. we come from a business aspect. d.c., there is not
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a whole lot of people up there, there are a few that i get along with. there are a few that i get along with to relate to individuals. in d.c., the more we get removed from people, you start forgetting why you're up there fighting. when we are in these town hall meetings, a lot of people get so tired or hear from different people that town hall meetings where them out, to me it is just the opposite. a recharge my battery. it rejuvenates me and makes me say, this is why i got here to begin with. i got fed up with just complaining about it. we have individuals -- every single town hall meeting, at least one third of our individuals in the town hall meetings, maybe as much as half, had never once attended a town hall meeting. now they are starting to get involved. when you see a movement like that, you see getting invol ved, it lets you know that you are fighting a fight. host: c-span covers all matters
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of congress on twitter. we are watching your #, your handle. here is a tweet from today. that discussion focused on egypt and benghazi and the farm bill. what is going to happen with the farm bill when congress comes back? caller: hopefully, we get it right. i want to make sure we get this thing right. we leave party politics out of it, we leave republicans and democrats out of it. a snaphat is best for program looking at real reforms. not necessarily taking money away from people that need it but holding people accounted -- accountable that are abusing it. take food awayo from those who can't work. we want to take the program away from those that choose not to work. benghazi and irs, people just want to make sure the
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government is held accountable. they want to make sure the white house has to answer for it or the administration has to answer for the decisions they made that affect people's lives. host: hammerson from oklahoma joining exceeding. -- joining us this evening. thank you for joining us. holding some 26 town halls during the august recess, our question this evening on c-span town hall is our congressional town halls help for? we will get back to phone calls in just a minute. he was mentioning benghazi in that week about today's town hall in oklahoma. here the headline this afternoon from the washington post. four state officials avoid disciplinary action for security failures in deadly benghazi attack. security failures led to an attack last year on the nomadic outpost in benghazi that killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens.
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officialsn said that who held senior positions during the attack will be reassigned to new jobs. she said an internal review concluded, there was no breach of duty by any of the four who had been on paid administrative leave for months. thehe issue of town halls, sentinel and florida writes about the increasing use of telephone town halls. this is not something that just happens during august recess, but year round. here the headline. congressional town halls by phone reach thousands. they write, forget the shouting matches and in-your-face demonstrations of the past. this summer, you can sound off to your local member of congress without leaving the comfort of home by taking advantage of a new trend in political discussion. the telephonic town hall. representatives can avoid being mocked or yelled at by a roomful of people. the houseel is among
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members who plan to connect with constituents over the phone during the congressional recess. it is an efficient way to engage thousands of people. that is from the sun sentinel. ted cruz, the son -- senator from texas is today talking about his citizenship. here is the headline in politico. ted cruz discovers and rejects his canadian citizenship. they write that one day after ted cruz released his birth certificate showing he was born in canada, he said he would renounce his canadian citizenship. it shows his place of birth is calgary, alberta to an american which conferred upon him american citizenship. say it alsoicials conferred canadian citizenship. cruz became a u.s. citizen at birth and never had
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to go through naturalization after birth to become a u.s. citizen. more state issue, this is a report from the washington times about the goings. there have i'm, rural coloradans to vote on breaking away as the 51st state. richardson of the washington times says, you have north carolina, north dakota, why not northern colorado? voters in several counties will be asked whether they want to form a new state, tentatively named northern colorado. a reaction to the craddick -- democratic controlled legislator. let's get back to the calls on the helpfulness or lack thereof of congressional town halls. virginia, todd on the republican line. think for waiting. host: yes sir, it is good to talk to you.
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iwatch bobby scott on c-span. had to explain obamacare because he doesn't understand it. i watched john mccain and he had a bunch of people in the room. all they did was agree with him. and that is jokes good because he is a joke. i watched minority speaker pelosi and i would expect what i got from a liberal city like san francisco. on immigration, these people keep talking about how great these people are but they steal social security numbers for these are federal laws they are breaking. americans can go breaking federal laws. we need to get this thing down hashere the president weighed everybody on obamacare except us peasants out here. we are all stuck with this mess.
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the congress, the senate, the big business, these people just and american it people need to understand, we can't just keep operating. they are killing all of the small business in this country. thank you for your time sir. host: you bet. shelbyville, indiana. say hello to sandy on the independent mind. caller: hello. i listened to mr. scott's townhall meeting and the one prior to that, but at mr. scott's there was a gentleman in the audience asking what is wrong with obamacare that republicans have voted 40 times to repeal it? the doctor on the panel said, i would like to answer this. it is because of the budget. was born,randdaughter her portion of the national debt was over $30,000.
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now, three years later, it is over $50,000. it was just so nice to hear someone give some fact and not have the blame game or the downgrading of a political party. we actually had something positive, and answer. i do think that the meetings help. we want have any -- we won't have any town meetings until this week. representative messer will be in -- on the 28th at the courthouse in the commissioners chambers. host: do you try to get out to the townhouse? caller: i have never been to one. but i am going to representative messer's. downtown indianapolis would be hard for me especially with the walking and the parking. thank you, sandy.
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she is talking about the bus , the defundm demint obamacare townhall tour. tomorrow, they are in tampa, florida. birmingham alabama, florida. columbus, ohio next is a. stops in pennsylvania and delaware next week. on obamacare and immigration, a headline from abc news. obama\leaves room roomama blacklasg leaves for immigration reform to breathe. has beenrsation largely about defunding obamacare leaving little time for discussion about immigration. also dealt cardin
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with the issue of implementation of the affordable care act as it is known. here is what he had to say. >> there has been some difficulty in implementing this bill. we haven't had the resources made available through the budget process so that it could be done as seamless as possible. there has been no real effort in congress to take a look at the affordable care act and make minor changes where you need to make minor changes in order to make it easier. that has not been done because of the partisan division. we have not been able to do that. we are up against some deadlines that are going to be difficult for us to meet. we need your help in meeting those deadlines. the first is october 1, when the republic -- the public will have a chance to enroll in exchange is. here is what the opportunity is all about. we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people in maryland who don't have health coverage, who have the opportunity to have
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affordable health coverage. when i say affordable, 75% we estimate will be eligible for subsidies. for a family of four in our 95,000 ors around below, they will be eligible if they don't have employer benefits. we need your help in getting that information out. we need additional help through the expansion of medicaid to also provide additional coverage. there is a lot of exciting things. come january 1, the pre-existing condition exclusions are over. we have been able to implement a lot of new changes in the law. we have already provided small businesses with credits to provide insurance for their employees. now they will also be able to get it through exchange. for companies under 50, there is no new requirement.
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i always like to say that because we are mindful of the impact that the affordable care act has on small businesses. i serve on a small business committee in congress. we want to make sure that this is workable for all businesses. what we are particularly concerned about is small companies. there is no new requirement. there is a lot of opportunity. they can get credits to help a for the cost for their employees. they have a lot of different plans to choose from under exchanges, that they couldn't afford. there is more opportunity out there. the question is, how do we implement this? it is where you come in. you are the community people. you know the target group we are trying to get enrolled. at this very moment, it is very difficult to see how you are going to work your way through the different plans that are offered. that information is just now becoming available. we need people to help us translate that in a way that is most effective for the people
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who we are trying to reach. there are a lot of young people out there who don't have coverage. we know that. -- they are going to want a policy that works for them. most young people who have not experienced a difficult health issue think they are invincible. we need your help. we know how many young people get into a medical situation. they either don't see health care or they are sometimes responsible for their own bankruptcy. we are trying to avoid that. what i would like to get from you is how we can help, what tools you need from us, what can we do to make it easier for people to get the information they need? we want people to make the right decisions about their health care needs. we know there is a lot of
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partisan politics played in washington these days. i am really trying to stay above that. i want people to make the right decisions for what is best for them. this bill is not going to be repealed. you would think the republicans and house would have gotten the message after the 30th time they try to repeal it. the public wouldn't let us repeal this bill. they don't want to lose the benefits they have gotten from the affordable care act. seniors don't want to go back to higher cost of prescription drugs. families don't want to see their young 25-year-olds kicked off their health insurance policies. people like getting a check from their insurance companies that have been charging more than what we think is exceptional for their health insurance. quite frankly, americans are tired of paying the cost of other people who should be responsible for their own health care needs. that is what this is all about. how do we implement it in a way that makes the most sense for the american people?
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about two weeks ago, i was in maryland. we had a group like this and got into a great discussion about the things we can do to help. amaro, i will be in prince george's county any similar type of roundtable discussion. for the people at baltimore, what can we do to help? what changes do you think need to be made in the law? what tools do you need for this to work? how can we get more people the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves and their families? what would you like to see congress to, your senators or your congressman, what would you like to see local health people do? we are in this together. host: senator ben cardin of maryland from last monday. our c-span townhall topic this evening is, how helpful do you find congressional town halls?
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the number for republicans is facebook.com/cspan. 202-585-3885. for democrats, 202-585-3886. for all of us, 202-585-3887. from levittown, michael is in our democrats line. caller: i think town halls are a great idea, where they would be if the politicians listened to us. he come to town, they listen to what you had to say, you get back to your seat and they do what the hell they want to do. halls,the telephone town that is a great idea to. except, they can cut you off whenever they don't want to hear what you have to say. people were talking about this about illegalff immigration. illegal immigration, all i have
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to say about that is the first word in the sentence, illegal. after that, there is nothing else to be said. it is a legal. -- illegal. that should be the end of the discussion. things need to be scaled back. politicians are never going to listen to us. they never have. they do what they want to. that is all i have to say. thank you. host: thank you. michael from pennsylvania. he also mentioned the telephone town halls we talked about. here is a posting from jane on facebook about that. my congressman set up conference calls in which he can address several thousand constituents. to arizona, republican mine.
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caller: hello? host: you are on the air go- ahead. caller: i was listening to senator ben cardin on the obamacare health issue. this, theypushing are not talking about the navigators that obama wants hired at $40 an hour. people that aren't even trained. 20 hours of training for these people? or 30 hours? they are not trained and they have no background check, nothing. as far as people not having insurance, i don't think that enough attention has been paid to people who have not had health insurance by the people of the states that they live in. i was married 37 years to an arizona highway patrol sergeant. he went on the patrol in 1968, retired in 2003.
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the first thing he was able to do was drop me from the group health insurance i had under him to the department of public safety for 35 years. i have ended up having to file bankruptcy. i had to do that in 2012. i became eligible for medicare april 1 of 2012. 2011, i had a heart attack. i didn't make it until i could get medicare. as soon as i got my medicare, i also, before i even got it, i look for supplements and drug coverage. paying that. i am 66 years old. now, i will leave the world with a medical caused bankruptcy. that is just atrocious. some of the fault lies with the state.
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i will let you go there. we are talking about your thoughts on town halls, congressional town halls in particular. how helpful are they to you? arkansas, independent line. go ahead. caller: yes. i am 74 years old. i've voted in every election. disappointed in every election, but most of them. host: but you keep voting? caller: yes i do. i keep listening and i try to pick a candidate rather than a political party. but i have one comment that i would like to make. i am still really disenchanted and the one question i would like to ask all politicians that i had any contact with, how is it and how does it feel to wake
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up in the morning and get up and know you are not going to tell the truth all day? that is one answer i would like to have. some of my family has been in politics and boy, i have got first canned -- firsthand knowledge of crap that goes on. host: who is your representative now? caller: i don't even know. host: thanks for wading into the conversation this evening. we will find out more about ted cruz and his dual citizenship ingested it. a tweak here from sasha who talks about the conversation. she she is talking about a story published this afternoon. the polk county republican party has president nine. he changed his resignation --
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polk county republican party chair has resigned. brown resigned his position on august 5. he said in an interview, he became disgusted by a party he believes is running by the christian right and national rifle association. king as aneve example of his philosophical conflict. rose is in eastpointe, michigan. she is on our democrats line. hi, rose. caller: hello. host: go ahead with your comments. caller: well, i think the town halls would be beneficial if they weren't always singing to the choir. most of these congressman set up these town halls and fill the meetings with people that are from there on party affiliation. they field questions, they make sure that the questions that are put out there are only
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specifically related to certain issues and will not just take a free-for-all question from the audience. host: who is your present it in eastpointe? caller: haven't had one yet. i don't really want to go to a town hall meeting and listen to everybody in plain about benghazi and other things like that when there are real home issues that are not being taken care of. the blight in our cities, the unemployment issues, the lack of jobs, the development of our state, all of that is just way down the list. everybody keeps being distracted by all of these so-called sensational issues. host: thanks for calling this
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evening. that go to our republican line. missouri is up next, mike, how are you? caller: how are you? host: doing fine, thanks. caller: i think the townhall meetings are excellent. it is the one chance to go ahead and tell the politicians what is on their mind. my only concern is, i think we have a good representation from our congressional representative, but the senators don't make themselves available for town meetings. areas wheren rural they probably didn't do very well in the last election. i am speaking mainly about senator mccaskill. she won't come down to southern missouri. she won't stay here to do a town meeting. host: really? did she campaign there? caller: i don't remember her campaigning here either. to stay in the
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university towns or urban areas where it is saver and where they have more representation. but i think the townhall meetings are excellent. i think c-span does it terrific job and that is where we need to be. i think we need to see more of our senators throughout the states. host: mike, thanks for calling in. we mentioned senator ted cruz and the story of his canadian citizenship. here is a headline from the washington post. he reposted the story from earlier. can ted cruz run for president? and should he? we spoke to aaron blake about the story earlier today. covers national politics for the washington post. republican senator ted cruz is making news relearning his citizenship. what is he saying? >> basically, ted cruz released his birth certificate and a story that was posted late sunday night. it talks about an issue that we have been looking at for a canle while which is, 10 --
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ted cruz run for president? he was born in canada to a u.s. citizen mother and a cuban father. there has never been a president who has been foreign-born like that. legal experts generally agree that he probably can serve as president but it remains uncertain. >> legal experts are claiming that he is a canadian citizen. be on acknowledging that news, what is he doing in response? >> i think this is all part of a rollout for him. --is certainly speaking his sticking his toes into the presidential process. he was in iowa this month. he is going to new hampshire on friday. those are two very important states in the presidential process. i think this was an effort by his team to get this tissue -- this issue out of the way and have this debate at a time when the heat of the campaign is not being waged and when they can kind of work their way through without the distractions
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involved in a campaign. >> is he officially renouncing his canadian citizenship and if he does that, how public can we expect that to be? thees, about 24 hours after news story was published, cruz's office put out a statement saying that he did not know he was a canadian citizen. he never actively sought that out and his mother told him that he had to do something in order to obtain that. they basically said that if indeed he is a canadian citizen, he will renounce that citizenship in order to put this issue behind him. >> will that be a public event or something then quietly? >> i doubt it will be public. i think they would rather just get past this issue and i don't think anybody is going to doubt that he has renounced it if he says he has. it is not something he has laid claim to or promoted in any way.
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i think he is just as happy to put this behind him. >> he could still run for president in 2016 without changing the status and have dual citizenship, or am i wrong about that? >> i don't think there is anything that prevents him from running for president if he has dual citizenship. i think it might be somewhat of an impediment if people know that he is also a canadian citizen. i am sure that there are voters out there for whom that would be an issue. the bigger issue is the fact that he was born in canada and whether or not that qualifies him as a natural born citizen under the u.s. constitution. >> is anyone drawing parallels uz andn senator cr president obama? and people who adhere to the so-called birth room movement who questioned the is a aaron's legitimacy, they say that the media -- the
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legitimacys th are the same. it is more of a legal question about whether somebody born abroad can be a u.s. president. with obama, much of the controversy and the reason the birth room movement has been anounced is because there was dispute over the underlying facts. insofar as they both involve eligibility for being president and questions about where summit of it was born, they are similar. the underlying issue is different in each case. >> senator cruz has a political event this friday in new hampshire. c-span will be covering that. should we expect to see some hubbub about this topic during that event? >> of course. this has been the focus of the political committee. it is a slow news week.
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there is a lot of focus on presidential politics and ted cruz is a very buzzy politician these days. he is out front on the defund obamacare movement which is very topical right now. going to states like new hampshire and iowa is going to further the idea that he is giving a look at running for president. i think that he is going to be a big part of this dialogue going forward. blake is a national politics reporter for the washington post. thank you for your time. >> thank you. fatherhe way, ted cruz's is going to be part of the jim demint bus tour which is heading around the country. have a number of stops planned for the rest of the week. he now heads heritage action. they will be in tampa florida tomorrow. nashville on thursday, birmingham, alabama, indianapolis, columbus, and then
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pennsylvania and delaware next week. that's good to texas next. our democrats line, thanks for waiting. caller: yes, how are you tonight? host: doing fine, thank you. am interested in this because the republicans are foolish. they cannot repeal obama healthcare. they are idiots. so many people that are not wealthy are uninsured. what? when the poor people do not pay their hospital -- guess who pays. that is plumb crazy. i wish they could just know it. guess what, i will tell you a secret. it will be a woman president this year.
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in 16. don't worry about what these people are saying. ted cruz will never win. host: thanks for your call. georgia up next, independent line. caller: hey, how's it going tonight? host: fine, thanks. caller: i am an insider and i think there are many problems with this. plans, youand bronze might as well not have insurance. this is the problem when you do medical billing. if you go in for heart surgery, the cardiologist, the emt, that the lowerd, surgeon end plans are not the elite plans that federal employees have, are just going to be discount plans. you are not going to get the services that you think you were going to get. the other problem is when you
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try to contact some of these providers on the back end as i do, some of their call centers are still in india. you can imagine having somebody come as a professional i am trying to deal with a claim -- host: tie your into what you're hearing is evening. are members of congress getting it right? do they understand? caller: that is the problem, they don't. i was going to go down to the georgia capital as a professional because of an argument about a medical co-pay. , somebodyis provider from india, he wound up paying the cupcake. before i got in 09 laid off.
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now i am part-time. i am telling these politicians what is going on. they didn't want me to speak because they didn't want to hear the truth. they didn't want to hear a need for -- knee replacement in louisiana can cost $6,000. in other places in the cost upwards of $80,000. host: fairfax, virginia is next. caller: good evening. i wanted to comment in general about town halls. i think they are beneficial as long as the elected official or candidate comes to the town hall with the idea of getting feedback and listening to the people that are there with an open mind. i have been volunteering and working on several campaigns the last couple years in virginia, and i have seen both sides. some come to these town halls with a prescription of what they're going to say and they know what is what. i have also seen others come in
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and listen and give feedback afterwards. they tell their staff, we need more research on what that one person said. to answer the question, it is really up to the elected official. does he want them to be helpful or does it -- does he wanted to serve as a microphone for him? host: chris, thanks for that. let's check twitter. the #is #cspanchat. here is one from vincent. , town halls are a good start. you may be referring to impeachment? jacob says, i think town halls are for nerds. terry says, do these people realize this nsa was set up in 03 under bush? we ask you, our congressional town halls helpful to you?
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a couple of comments there about healthcare. i want to bring in a democrat from rhode island and one of his recent town halls. here is some of what he had to say. >> thank you very much. i appreciate voting in favor of the affordable care act. today's announcement by the administration following the announcement of allowing until 2015 large employers, delaying coverage, today's announcements with the out-of-pocket cost. we've gotrned because things going on on the business side, but no relenting on the individual mandate. the whole thing falls apart unless we can get young, healthy people to sign up. corporations -- in 2014,
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and incentive for them to stay on target with their timelines. thank you. things thatned the have to happen for this to work. [inaudible] the idea is once you have everyone participating it spreads the cost around. [inaudible] not being able -- early preventative care, that is another area. doctor, anhe emergency room visit. [inaudible]
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i want to continue to make sure we get everything running. i understand why the providingtion delayed health care to their employees. i am hoping that with the health insurance exchanges, [inaudible] i understand why the administration felt the need -- i am disappointed by it. some of it ishy confusing right now. day, i think the
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it is going to be -- nevin ofocrat jim i rhode island. a publishedoned in article in the wall street townal, the headline is hall meetings take on a scripted town. lawmakers say they are growing wary. it is democracy in action, advocacy groups respond. they said democrats are targeted for growing as well including from privacy rights advocates. a group confronted jim last week about cutting off nsa funding. they write that with so many competing interest groups working to create a splash, some members of congress are having fewer of them and arguing what happens with a more skeptical eye. the reporting of the wall street journal. back to your comments and calls about town hall meetings and
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whether you find them helpful. pennsylvania, next up. democrats line, ernest, thanks for waiting. caller: first of all, i have been around a little bit. i am 91 years of age. i have been in the political arena and voted for every president on down the line. i have been to dozens of town halls and in the last few years, i have noticed what we would call loaded by special interest. they more or less -- they send their people in and, nine out of 10 times do not follow through with a promise to people in the town hall. i suggest to anyone that goes to a town hall, do a little
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notetaking. find out what they say they say they're going to do and watch. call their office and remind them what they told at this particular town meeting. listening, i think the supreme court was responsible for what we have today. allowing all this big special- interest money to be dumped into the areas. again, i wish everybody -- i am a little sorry to see what my country looks like at the age of 91. thank you for taking my call. host: are you still with us? caller: yes. host: let me ask you, out of all these town halls you have seen, who impressed you the most? find people in the counties, state senators, representatives, some of our congressional peoples.
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in the last few years, eight or 10 years, i find that since we have been driven by outside money coming in, you don't get the quality of statesmanship and performance that we once had. host: great to hear from you. michigan, next up. janet on the independent mind. caller: hi. libertarian. i recently left the republican party. my representative is mike rogers . i have attended one of his town meetings. just this past friday, i attended a town hall meeting of just in a much -- justin amash in a neighboring district. i have to disagree with your colors. i found both men to be very forthcoming. i did not to the questions were predetermined at all. the audience was definitely
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public and the questions came from all corners. i was impressed with their ability to field unexpected questions. mr. amashriday, entertained a question from my nine-year-old son. i would definitely recommend that voters attend these. they will gain information that they will not see on the evening news. i think it is a marvelously useful to. host: was your son the one who asked the question about gay marriage? caller: exactly, yes. host: he stood up very well for himself and asked a pretty good question for a nine-year-old. caller: he did and i did not know that was coming. host: i was just going to ask you. did you ask him later why he asked the question? caller: i said he could, but he didn't run it past me. host: we enjoyed it.
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if folks haven't seen it, we will give them a look right now. thank you for the call, janet. >> what i am also worried about is, all the gay rights stuff, like i am thinking this could be another racism thing. it is like the same thing with gays and non-gays. it is a big fight. who really cares? does it really matter? [applause] >> that is a great point. governmentieve the should be involved in deciding who can get married. i think that is not an appropriate role for the federal government. marriage is a private institution. it is between people in their personal lives. i am an orthodox christian.
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my wife and i don't need the government telling us that we can get married. nobody else needs the government telling them they can get married. this is up to them. i agree with you. host: never too young for a town hall. a couple more phone calls on the issue of whether you find them helpful. let's go to tennessee on the republican line. caller: i thank you for taking my call. our representative has town meetings mostly on the telephone but he has a representative that comes to town. , they have a representative at all times. i find these meetings very interesting. i wanted to mention about ted crees. i have been listening to him for the last few days and i am proud of his position on many -- at least he has a birth certificate.
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thank you for taking my call. host: you bet. two kentucky next, scott is on our democrats line. hi. caller: hello. host: go ahead, scott. caller: i have had quite a few telephone town halls with mitch mcconnell and rand paul and found them pretty much prescribed and predetermined. there were some comments time offered, but most of it was campaigning. i found that disappointing and i was very interested in the republican party line. as far as ted cruz, i thought everyone that is born abroad chose at the time of birth what embassy they would get their birth certificate from. that is a lego. host: thank you, scott. a couple of tweets here. we follow all the members of congress. here is one from a democrat from connecticut.
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he says he visited the manufacturer of hubble. great products and jobs here, and it shows why we need to buy american. from tennessee, great catering ut's extension center. one more from andy harris in maryland. packed house at my town hall in maryland. thanks for coming out. hudson, florida on the independent mind, go ahead. caller: yes, since obamacare was it has been changed so much. we gave our president the right -- what is the sense of having supreme court judges? if they would see it now and give it to them to vote on again, would they have tested? it is unfair what this president has done to the common working people having a rough time keeping their homes.
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3, 4 out of seven houses, people are losing their homes and can hardly feed their kids. our president -- why have the supreme court judges? host: let's take a look at one more town hall before we wrap up. john mccain's town hall from last week where he was asked about disability. here is what he had to say. >> senator, my name is rita garcia. i would like to thank you for coming to south tucson. i expressed how i wanted you to vote on gun legislation. said, you please ask him to come to south tucson. it is too hard to get to other cities. i didn't plan on this. i saw it on the news this
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morning. i was on my way to a doctor appointment but i felt obligated after asking you to come here and you are here. [applause] in december ofed 2010 due to a rail ms. -- a rare illness. i worked for 30 years. it kills me every time i hear about the takers. i have a rare illness and now i am disabled. a disconnect between federal and , arizona is one of the few states in this country run by republicans where the cost of living for social security was 3.6%. arizona raise the
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eligibility for a program that was paying $100 a month for my medicaid to 3.4%. consequently, i was cut off. $100 a month which i could no therapy, to physical because i am single. i live up by myself and i'm trying to make it on my own. i watch c-span because i need to keep my brain going. thank you for all that you do. even though i am a democrat, i vote for you often times. [laughter] do to stopt can we that? like i said, i contacted my representative immediately. we are just stuck. arizona is one of the few states where arab -- our state
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legislature -- i was told by my state manager, my first concern was, am i going to lose this program? i was told, no. but raised eligibility you're already in the program. you won't be cut off. guess what. a few months later, i get the notice. what can you do to help? , i have to give you a straight talk. i can help you with federal programs and we can do everything we can to make sure that you receive everything that you are entitled to. i hope that that is sufficient to help you successfully live in an independent living fashion. i cannot tell the state legislature what to do. i can recommend to them. >> thank you, that would help. >> i would be glad to, but i
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cannot write state laws. >> i understand that, but arizona is the only republican state that does that. they cut as many people as they can from benefits that are desperately needed. >> i thank you. you are not a taker. you are not. >> i am sorry, everybody. >> i'm one to see what we can do. >> thank you. thank you for coming to south tucson so that i could make it to the meeting. host: a couple final comments on town halls. from twitter, reed williams tweets, we need more town hall meetings, less house meetings with donors. to my e-s facebook mails and district office visits have been pretty effective. a quick call from our republican line. edward in new jersey, do you find town halls helpful? caller: actually, no i don't.
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the majority of people in this country are fed up with the bickering ain in washington. there are a lot of good ideas that people may bring to these town halls but they don't really show up. the ones who show up maybe special interest. i think again, the reason why people don't go to town halls like they used to is because of all the bickering in washington. average like the american is the one getting dumped on. host: i appreciate your comments this evening. tags for all your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. we will continue the conversation into friday morning in the washington journal. they ask the question about town halls. we will also be hearing about north carolina's new voter identification law.
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perez.est is myrna we will also be joined by steve o'brien to talk about the future . usepentagon is planning to advanced aircraft in all branches of the military. washington or lost arts tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern and everyday at 7:00 a.m.. tomorrow night, we will be bringing you the new york city mayor's with six candidates ,ncluding christine quinn anthony weiner. we will have live coverage beginning at 6:00 and the debate at 7:00 eastern. that will be a live simulcast. you can follow here on c-span and >> our series